Non-dividing Saccharomyces cerevisiae cultures are highly relevant for fundamental and applied studies. However, cultivation conditions in which non-dividing cells retain substantial metabolic activity are lacking. Unlike stationary-phase (SP) batch cultures, the current experimental paradigm for non-dividing yeast cultures, cultivation under extreme calorie restriction (ECR) in retentostat enables non-dividing yeast cells to retain substantial metabolic activity and to prevent rapid cellular deterioration. Distribution of F-actin structures and single-cell copy numbers of specific transcripts revealed that cultivation under ECR yields highly homogeneous cultures, in contrast to SP cultures that differentiate into quiescent and non-quiescent subpopulations. Combined with previous physiological studies, these results indicate that yeast cells subjected to ECR survive in an extended G1 phase. This study demonstrates that yeast cells exposed to ECR differ from carbon-starved cells and offer a promising experimental model for studying non-dividing, metabolically active, and robust eukaryotic cells.
Keywords: Actin structure; Extreme calorie restriction; Heterogeneity; Non-dividing; Retentostat; mRNA FISH.
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