Bound Volume Number


Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2015

Capstone Advisor

Prof. Scott Erdman

Honors Reader

Prof. Melissa Pepling

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component



cellular polarization, cellular asymmetry, environmental stress and mating process

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Cell Biology


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cellular polarization is an essential structural and functional aspect of growth and development. It is responsible for yielding and maintaining cellular asymmetry, and allows for cells to function. Mating in S. cerevisiae is a process that incorporates cell-to-cell signaling, signal transduction, cellular polarization, plasmogamy, karyogamy, and many other cellular processes. Each of these steps is mediated by a myriad of signaling proteins that are involved in a signaling cascade that is regulated by both extracellular and intracellular signals. Much is known about the mating process and pathway in S. cerevisiae. However, this project aimed to target that pathway and determine how much it is developmentally buffered to its environment.

The environment that S. cerevisiae most successfully grows and mates in is an optimal temperature of 30°C. In this project, it was hypothesized that elevating the temperature from the optimal 30°C up to between 39°C to 41°C would inhibit mating. This is an environmental stress that is easily applied in a controlled manner and that may allow for weaknesses in the mating process under such conditions to be exploited for their identification genetically. Both the ability of the cells to mate and their ability to form mating projections at elevated temperatures were studied. It was determined that the strains used are not capable of mating at 41°C and that polarization in the form of mating projections is greatly reduced at 41°C.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
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