Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2011

Capstone Advisor

Mark E. Schmitt, Ph.D.

Honors Reader

William T. Starmer, Ph.D.

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


The yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a eukaryote and model organism that can be used to study how eukaryotic cells respond to hypergravity. In this experiment, six standard wild-type strains were used to determine a maximum gravitational force the yeast can withstand and still grow. Artificial gravity was generated using a centrifuge. Yeasts were found to maintain growth even at the highest artificial gravity tested, 2,114 g. An ordered deletion set of S. cerevisiae was then screened to identify genes that could not grow and withstand simulated hypergravity compared to growth under 1g conditions. Many of the strains that failed to grow at high gravity were found to be related to mitochondrial gene expression and translation. Mitochondria, the powerhouse and ATP source of the cell, are large organelles involved in fatty acid oxidation, the citric acid cycle, and respiration. Gene localization in the mitochondria is important in studying mitochondrial pathways, and intracellular organization such as mitochondrial fusion, vesicular docking, and protein trafficking.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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