Project description

Laboratory of yeast genetics,
pheromones and speciation
Head of laboratory: Guillaume Filion
The aim of this practical course is to determine
experimentally whether yeast pheromones contribute to
speciation. Yeast do not have males and females, but mating types,
which are called 'a' and 'alpha'. Type 'alpha' yeast produce a pheromone called the
alpha peptide, which attracts type 'a' yeast. When yeast of type 'alpha' and 'a' meet,
they fuse and form a diploid hybrid. It is presently unclear whether pheromones are
attractive between species. To answer this question, we will use baker's yeast
Saccyharomyces cerevisiae. With genetic techniques, we will replace the alpha
peptide of Saccyharomyces cerevisiae by the alpha peptides from other species and
test whether these transformed yeast can mate with type 'a' yeast. These results will
allow us to understand if the evolution of yeast pheromones promotes speciation, or
favors the formation of hybrids from distant species.