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Information regarding the provenance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain W303

Kindly provided at SGD's request by Rodney Rothstein on March 10, 2005. Correction provided by Stephan Bartsch on August 17, 2008.


The original W303 strain is mutated in rad5-535 (an G to R change at position 535 - See Fan HY. et al., (1996), Genetics 142:749-759).

  • The change is subtle resulting in a phenotype in combination with soh1 (Hannah Klein in the Fan paper), sir mutations--increased mms resistance (David Sinclair, unpublished) and no effect on recombination,UV or X-ray sensitivities (Rothstein lab, unpublished).
  • The rad5-G535R missense mutation does not cause any growth defect or gamma-ray sensitive phenotype. However, rad5-G535R strains displayed increased sensitivity to UV light at high doses when compared to wild-type strains, and rad52 rad5-G535R double mutants were more sensitive to UV light when compared to RAD52 rad5-G535R and rad52 RAD5 single mutants. Levels of direct repeat recombination were not affected by the rad-G535R allele in rad1, rad52 or rfa1-D288Y backgrounds. The efficiency of plasmid gap repair (outline of the system: Bartsch S. et al, (2000), Mol. Cell. Biol. Feb.; 20(4): 1194-1205) was not significantly affected by the rad5-G535R allele. Also, the rad5-G535R allele had no effect on the proportion of crossover and non-crossover events independent of whether the DNA donor for gap repair was of chromosomal or plasmid origin. These unpublished findings support the hypothesis that the weak DNA repair phenotype conferred by the rad5-G535R mutation is caused indirectly through interaction either with proteins of the transcription machinery (transcription-coupled DNA repair, TCR) or with chromatin but not by direct involvement in recombination (Stephan Bartsch and Naz Erdeniz, April 2000, unpublished).
  • A rad5-G535R strain did not show detectable chronic low dose ultraviolet light (CLUV) sensitivity, whereas the ATPase-deficient rad5-K538A mutant showed a CLUV hypersensitivity similar to that observed in a rad5 deletion mutant (Hishida T. et al., (2008), Nature 457 (7229): 612-615; Hishida T., personal communication; Stephan Bartsch, December 2008)
  • To assay for its presence in any W303 derivative strain, one can do a PCR and digest the products with MnlI, as the mutation creates a MnlI site.
    • The primers to use are:
      • 5'-gcagcaggaccatgtaaacg-3' RAD5-L
      • 5'-aaactcgttactccactgcg-3' RAD5-R
    • Run a 3% agarose gel to see the fragments.
      • In wild type: 182 bp and 155 bp.
      • In rad5-535: 155 bp, 120 bp and 62 bp.
    • The RAD5 wild type derivatives of W303 are W1588.

Some relevant information for W303:

MATa/MATalpha {leu2-3,112 trp1-1 can1-100 ura3-1 ade2-1 his3-11,15} [phi+]

  • This strain was made diploid by transforming W301-18A (Rothstein, Meth. Enzymol. 101:202-211, 1983.) with an HO-containing plasmid.
  • The diploid was dissected to obtain the isogenic MATa (W303-1A) and MATalpha (W303-1B) strains (Thomas & Rothstein, Cell 56:619-630, 1989).
  • The {brackets} in the genotype indicate that these genes are homozygous in the diploid. Each haploid strain has only a single copy the gene.
  • The [phi+] element is a non-Mendelian trait that affects the efficiency of amber suppression. Unlike the related element [psi+], this element does not affect ochre suppression.
    • ade2-1 and can1-100 are ochre-suppressible.
    • trp1-1 is amber-suppressible.
    • ura3-1 reverts at very low frequency (2 x 10e-9).
    • Both leu2-3,112 and his3-11,15 do not revert at any measurable frequency.
    • Sequence details for the relevant genes are listed in the table at the bottom of the page.

Brief description of the history of W303:

  • Many crosses were made with strains from Rothstein's Ph.D. thesis, W87 derivatives
    • see Genetics 85:35-54, 1977 and Genetics 85:55-64, 1977
    • These are mainly but not exclusively X2180-like (S288C).
  • It also got part of its genetic background from Fred Sherman's strains, D311-3A
    • see Genetics 94:871-889, 1980 and Genetics 94:891-898, 1980
  • Finally, one of the grandparents of W301-18A, D190-9C, is a real mutt, which Rothstein got from Jack Szostak and about which very little is known.

TABLE. Mutant alleles in W303.

allele nt position alteration aa change
ura3-1 701 gga > gAa Gly > Glu
trp1-1*** 247 gag > Tag Glu > amber
can1-100 139 aaa > Taa Lys > ochre
ade2-1 27** taa > ttG none
190 gaa > Taa Glu > ochre
301* aga > Gga Arg > Gly
372** gtt > gtC none
1617** acg > acA none
his3-11,15 208 G deletion -1 frameshift
319 G deletion -1 frameshift
leu2-3,112 168** gtc > gtT none
206* gtt > gCt Val > Ala
249 G insertion +1 frameshift
792 G insertion +1 frameshift
897** gtt > gtC none
898* gac > Aac Asp > Asn
* extra mutation compared to published wild-type sequence
** nucleotide change compared to published wild-type sequence, but amino acid is conserved
*** info from John McDonald, formerly of the Rothstein lab, Genetics 147:1557-1568 (1997)
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