• Petite mutation;
  • mtDNA;
  • Saccharomyces/Kluyveromyces complex;
  • ethidium bromide;
  • mitochondria


Petite-positivity – the ability to tolerate the loss of mtDNA – was examined after the treatment with ethidium bromide (EB) in over hundred isolates from the Saccharomyces/Kluyveromyces complex. The identity of petite mutants was confirmed by the loss of specific mtDNA DAPI staining patterns. Besides unequivocal petite-positive and petite-negative phenotypes, a few species exhibited temperature sensitive petite positive phenotype and petiteness of a few other species could be observed only at the elevated EB concentrations. Several yeast species displayed a mixed ‘moot’ phenotype, where a major part of the population did not tolerate the loss of mtDNA but several cells did. The genera from postwhole-genome duplication lineages (Saccharomyces, Kazachstania, Naumovia, Nakaseomyces) were invariably petite-positive. However, petite-positive traits could also be observed among the prewhole-genome duplication species.