Research ArticleCell Biology

Yeast Dynamically Modify Their Environment to Achieve Better Mating Efficiency

Science Signaling  16 Aug 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 186, pp. ra54
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2001763

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.

Enhancing Attraction to the Opposite Sex

Budding yeast exist as two sexes, MATa and MATα, and the different cell types locate their opposite-sex partners through the release of pheromones; MATα cells secrete the pheromone α-factor, which stimulates growth toward and eventual mating with MATa cells. Jin et al. used simulation and experimental validation to gain insight into the mechanisms by which the secreted protease Bar1, which is produced by MATa cells and degrades α-factor, promotes efficient mating. Their results suggest that Bar1 reshapes the gradient around the MATa cells, enabling them to sharpen the pheromone gradient, move away from other MATa cells to reduce same-sex encounters, and search a larger area to find appropriate mates of the opposite sex.