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Genetic dissection of MAPK-mediated complex traits across S. cerevisiae

By Sebastian Treusch, Frank W. Albert, Joshua S Bloom, Iulia E Kotenko, Leonid Kruglyak

Posted 07 May 2014
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/004895 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004913)

Signaling pathways enable cells to sense and respond to their environment. Many cellular signaling strategies are conserved from fungi to humans, yet their activity and phenotypic consequences can vary extensively among individuals within a species. A systematic assessment of the impact of naturally occurring genetic variation on signaling pathways remains to be conducted. In S. cerevisiae, both response and resistance to stressors that activate signaling pathways differ between diverse isolates. Here, we present a quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping approach that enables us to identify genetic variants underlying such phenotypic differences across the genetic and phenotypic diversity of S. cerevisiae. Using a Round-robin cross between twelve diverse strains, we determined the genetic architectures of phenotypes critically dependent on MAPK signaling cascades. Genetic variants identified fell within MAPK signaling networks themselves as well as other interconnected signaling pathways, illustrating how genetic variation can shape the phenotypic output of highly conserved signaling cascades.

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