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See detailQuantitative analysis of colony morphology in yeast
Ruusuvuori, Pekka; Lin, Jake UL; Shmulevich, Ilya et al

in BioTechniques (2013)

Microorganisms often form multicellular structures,such as biofilms and structured colonies, which can influence the organism’s virulence, drug resistance, and adherence to medical devices. Phenotypic ... [more ▼]

Microorganisms often form multicellular structures,such as biofilms and structured colonies, which can influence the organism’s virulence, drug resistance, and adherence to medical devices. Phenotypic classification of these structures has traditionally relied on qualitative scoring systems that limit detailed phenotypic comparisons between strains. Automated imaging and quantitative analysis have the potential to improve the speed and accuracy of experiments designed to study the genetic and molecular networks underlying different morphological traits. We have developeda platform that uses automated image analysis and pattern recognition to quantify phenotypic signatures of yeast colonies. The strategy enables quantitative analysis of individual colonies, measured at a single time point or over a series of time-lapse images, as well as the classification of distinct colony shapes based on image-derived features. Phenotypic changes in colonymorphology can be expressed achanges in feature space trajectories over time, thereby enabling the visualization and quantitative analysis of morphological development. To facilitate data exploration, results are plotted dynamically through an interactive web application that integrates the raw and processed images across all time points, allowing exploration of the image-based features and principal components associated with morphological development. The web application YIMAA is available at http://yimaa.cs.tut.fi. [less ▲]

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See detailAneuploidy underlies a multicellular phenotypic switch.
Tan, Zhihao; Hays, Michelle; Cromie, Gareth A. et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2013), 110(30), 12367-72

Although microorganisms are traditionally used to investigate unicellular processes, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has the ability to form colonies with highly complex, multicellular structures ... [more ▼]

Although microorganisms are traditionally used to investigate unicellular processes, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has the ability to form colonies with highly complex, multicellular structures. Colonies with the "fluffy" morphology have properties reminiscent of bacterial biofilms and are easily distinguished from the "smooth" colonies typically formed by laboratory strains. We have identified strains that are able to reversibly toggle between the fluffy and smooth colony-forming states. Using a combination of flow cytometry and high-throughput restriction-site associated DNA tag sequencing, we show that this switch is correlated with a change in chromosomal copy number. Furthermore, the gain of a single chromosome is sufficient to switch a strain from the fluffy to the smooth state, and its subsequent loss to revert the strain back to the fluffy state. Because copy number imbalance of six of the 16 S. cerevisiae chromosomes and even a single gene can modulate the switch, our results support the hypothesis that the state switch is produced by dosage-sensitive genes, rather than a general response to altered DNA content. These findings add a complex, multicellular phenotype to the list of molecular and cellular traits known to be altered by aneuploidy and suggest that chromosome missegregation can provide a quick, heritable, and reversible mechanism by which organisms can toggle between phenotypes. [less ▲]

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