petite mutation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

petite (ρ-) is a mutant first discovered in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Due to the defect in the respiratory chain, 'petite' yeast are unable to grow on media containing only non-fermentable carbon sources (such as glycerol or ethanol) and form small colonies when grown in the presence of fermentable carbon sources (such as glucose). The petite phenotype can be caused by the absence of, or mutations in, mitochondrial DNA (termed "cytoplasmic Petites"), or by mutations in nuclear-encoded genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. A neutral petite produces all wild type progeny when crossed with wild type.

petite mutations can be induced using a variety of mutagens, including DNA intercalating agents, as well as chemicals that can interfere with DNA synthesis in growing cells.[1] Mutagens that create Petites are implicated in increased rates of degenerative diseases and in the aging process.


  • Ferguson, L.R., and von Borstel, R. C. 1992. Induction of the cytoplasmic 'petite' mutation by chemical and physical agents in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mutation Research 265:103-48 PMID 1370239