Background: The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is one of the most widely studied model organisms in aging-related science. Although several genetic modifiers of yeast longevity have been identified, the utility of this system for longevity studies has been limited by a lack of high-throughput assays for quantitatively measuring survival of individual yeast cells during aging.
Results: Here we describe the Yeast Outgrowth Data Analyzer (YODA), an automated system for analyzing population survival of yeast cells based on the kinetics of outgrowth measured by optical density over time. YODA has been designed specifically for quantification of yeast chronological life span, but can also be used to quantify growth rate and survival of yeast cells in response to a variety of different conditions, including temperature, nutritional composition of the growth media, and chemical treatments. YODA is optimized for use with a Bioscreen C MBR shaker/incubator/plate reader, but is also amenable to use with any standard plate reader or spectrophotometer.
Conclusions: We estimate that use of YODA as described here reduces the effort and resources required to measure chronological life span and analyze the resulting data by at least 15-fold.