This study demonstrates that hydrostatic pressure is a potent inductive agent of the petite mutation in cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The inductive capacity of this mutagen is dependent on the magnitude and the duration of the pressure treatment. Furthermore, the extent of petite induction varies with the growth stage of the culture. Induction occurs in pressure-treated (1-4 X 1-(4) lbf in.-2 or 9–66 X 10(4) kN m-2 for 4 h) log growth cultures but not in stationary or lag phase cultures. Petite induction and cell survival are also dependent on the particular strain of yeast which is pressure-treated. Tetrad analysis and complementation assays demonstrate that pressure-induced petite cells are cytoplasmic in nature. Moreover, induced petite cells show a wide range of suppressivity (2–99%) with a large proportion of the petite cells being highly suppressive.

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