Genetic pleiotropy in Saccharomyces cerevisiae quantified by high-resolution phenotypic profiling
Journal article, 2006

Genetic pleiotropy, the ability of a mutation in a single gene to give rise to multiple phenotypic outcomes, constitutes an important but incompletely understood biological phenomenon. We used a highresolution and high-precision phenotypic profiling approach to quantify the fitness contribution of genes on the five smallest yeast chromosomes during different forms of environmental stress, selected to probe a wide diversity of physiological features. We found that the extent of pleiotropy is much higher than previously claimed; 17% of the yeast genes were pleiotropic whereof one-fifth were hyper-pleiotropic. Pleiotropic genes preferentially participate in functions related to determination of protein fate, cell growth and morphogenesis, signal transduction and transcription. Contrary to what has earlier been proposed we did not find experimental evidence for slower evolutionary rate of pleiotropic genes/proteins. We also refute the existence of phenotypic islands along chromosomes but report on a remarkable loss both of pleiotropy and of phenotypic penetrance towards chromosomal ends. Thus, the here reported features of pleiotropy both have implications on our understanding of evolutionary processes as well as the mechanisms underlying disease.

Chromosomal distribution of phenotypes



Phenotypic profiling


Elke Ericson

University of Gothenburg

Ilona Pylvänäinen

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Statistics

Luciano Fernandez-Ricaud

University of Gothenburg

Olle Nerman

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Statistics

Jonas Warringer

University of Gothenburg

Anders Blomberg

University of Gothenburg

Molecular Genetics and Genomics

1617-4615 (ISSN) 1617-4623 (eISSN)

Vol. 275 6 605-614

Subject Categories

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



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