SSP2, a sporulation-specific gene necessary for outer spore wall assembly in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Mol Genet Genomics. 2002 May;267(3):348-58. doi: 10.1007/s00438-002-0666-5. Epub 2002 Apr 5.


Sporulation in yeast consists of two highly coordinated processes. First, a diploid cell that is heterozygous at the mating-type locus undergoes meiosis, in which one round of DNA replication is followed by two rounds of nuclear division. Second, the meiotic products are packaged into spore cells that remain within the mother cell. A large number of genes are induced specifically during sporulation, and their products carry out different sporulation-specific events. Expression of these sporulation-specific genes is controlled by several regulators which function at different stages of the sporulation program, resulting in a cascade of gene expression following induction of meiosis. Here we describe one sporulation-specific gene, SSP2, which is induced midway through meiosis. Ssp2 shows significant homology to the predicted product of a hypothetical ORF in Candida albicans. Homozygous mutant ssp2 diploid cells fail to sporulate. In the mutant background, meiotic recombination and nuclear divisions remain normal; however, viability declines rapidly. Following meiosis, ssp2 cells form the prospore membrane, but fail to form the outer layer of the spore wall. The Ssp2 protein localizes to the spore wall after meiosis II. In addition, the ssp2 defect is also associated with delayed and reduced expression of late sporulation-specific genes. Our results suggest that SSP2 function is required after meiosis II and during spore wall formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Wall / genetics
  • Cell Wall / physiology
  • Chitin / analogs & derivatives
  • Chitin / genetics
  • Chitin / physiology
  • Chitosan
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology
  • Meiosis / physiology
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / pharmacology
  • Spores, Fungal / genetics*
  • Spores, Fungal / physiology


  • Fungal Proteins
  • SSP2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Chitin
  • Chitosan