Aging In Other Yeast Species

Given the relative ease of studying aging in S. cerevisiae, it is surprising that few aging-related studies have been carried out in other yeast species. The chronological aging assay, in particular, would be easily adapted to a wide variety of budding, filamentous, and fission yeast species. One study examined replicative senescence in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe (Barker and Walmsley, 1999). Unlike S. cerevisiae, cell division in S. pombe is morphologically symmetric, making differentiation of mother and daughter cells problematic. By the second division, however, the progenitor mother cell (now two generations old) is both longer and thinner than the daughter cells and can be separated by microdissection from progeny cells in a manner identical to the S. cerevisiae replicative life-span assay (see The Replica-tive Life-Span Assay). Using this method, it was demonstrated that fission yeast undergoes a senescence process with mortality kinetics similar to budding yeast. Unfortunately, no additional studies of this process have been published. A system for studying aging in a yeast species that is evolutionarily divergent from S. cerevisiae, such as S. pombe, would be of great value, both for verifying the generality of findings and for potentially identifying new determinants of cellular aging.

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