Proliferation of microbodies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae



The development of microbodies in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was studied in response to different conditions of growth. Various strains of S. cerevisiae were investigated, using cells from the exponential growth phase on glucose as an inocullum in all transfer experiments. Electron microscopy, including serial sectioning, revealed that these cells generally contained one to four small microbodies which were localized in the vicinity of the cell wall and characterized by the presence of catalase. Transfer of these glucose-grown cells into media supplemented with various compounds known to induce microbody proliferation in other yeasts—i.e. uric acid, alkylated amines, amino acids, C2-compounds such as ethanol or acetate, in the presence or absence of compounds that induce oxygen radical formation—did not result in a significant change in the number of microbody profiles observed. Marked microbody proliferation was, however, observed after a shift of cells into media containing oleic acid and was associated with the induction of activities of β-oxidation enzymes. In addition, catalase and isocitrate lyase were present in enhanced levels. Kinetic experiments suggested that these microbodies developed from those originally present in the inoculum cells. In thin sections up to 14 microbody profiles were occasionally observed, often present in small clusters. Their ultimate volume fraction amounted to 8–10% of the cytoplasmic volume.