Thanchanok Chaiprasit

Mentor: Joshua Shapiro

Department: Biology

 

Phenotypic Differences between Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains under Different Conditions

 

Saccharomyces cerevisiae has long been a well-established model organism for studying eukaryotic biology and genetics. Although certain strains of S. cerevisiae, such as the S288C strain, are commonly used in labs, there is a multitude of wild strains derived from natural populations that are not as well understood. Little is known about the ecology of these highly diverse wild populations of the species, in particular how to culture them in lab settings. The study will examine the growth of 52 strains of S. cerevisiae and other common species in multiple conditions, including different sugars, temperatures, pHs, amino-acid nitrogen sources, carbon sources, drugs and more, to discover the variations in the lab and wild strains of the species. Techniques such as end-point colony size assay will be used to analyze the different strains’ ability to grow under specific conditions and observe the different phenotypic characteristics (i.e. colony morphology and sporulation rate) of each strain. Other than identifying the ideal growth medium and lab conditions for the wild strains, this study will also identify the polymorphism among the species, which could provide us with a deeper insight to the evolutionary history of the species and enrich the genome-wide association studies in yeast.