Complete absence of mitochondrial DNA in the petite-negative yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe leads to resistance towards the alkaloid lycorine

Curr Genet. 1994 Jan;25(1):80-3. doi: 10.1007/BF00712972.


The petite-positive yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be efficiently and completely converted to respiratory-deficient cytoplasmic petite mutants by intercalating drugs. Rho0 petites from Schizosaccharomyces pombe could only be obtained in strains carrying a nuclear mutation. In this paper we report the efficient isolation of rho0 mutants in a Sch. pombe strain containing a mitochondrial mutator mutation. We also show that the alkaloid lycorine is able to differentiate between cells containing defective mitochondrial DNA (mit-) and those lacking mitochondrial DNA completely (rho0). Rho0 cells are resistant to the alkaloid whereas mit- and wild-type cells show the same sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids*
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Phenanthridines / pharmacology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / drug effects*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism
  • Sequence Deletion


  • Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids
  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Phenanthridines
  • lycorine