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Title: The role of vacuoles in size-dependent cell cycle checkpoints in Candida albicans
Author: Richards, Andrea
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 6665
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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A size-mediated checkpoint operates at the beginning of each new cell cycle in budding yeast.  This checkpoint, named Start, coordinates cell growth with cell division so that cells retain a uniform size over many generations.  Evidence from studies using polymorphic fungus Candida albicans shows that vacuole content of a cell influences timing of Start, suggesting that the space occupied by vacuole material influences size-dependent functions of the cell cycle.  This thesis explores the hypothesis that the volume of the cytoplasm (i.e. minus the volume of the vacuole and other organelles), rather than the whole cell volume, determines cell size measurements at size-mediated cell cycle checkpoints. Strains with mutations in genes involved in vacuole inheritance displayed changes in vacuole size and distribution, which in turn affected cell cycle progression.  Strains with mutations in genes involved in cell cycle regulation had altered cell cycle timing, which in turn affected vacuole size and distribution.  Mutants with prominent, enlarged vacuoles branched less frequently than the wild-type.  Cells were below the threshold cell size at Start and so were delayed in entering the next cycle.  Mutants with fragmented, reduced vacuole size displayed increased branching frequency and cell cycle progression, as cells reached the threshold cell size sooner. The data assembled demonstrate that changes in vacuole size and distribution are partnered with corresponding changes in cell cycle progression, supporting the hypothesis that vacuole volume influences cell size measurement at size-mediated checkpoints in the cell cycle.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available