Yeast mitochondria form a branched tubular network. Mitochondrial inheritance is tightly coupled with bud emergence, ensuring that daughter cells receive mitochondria from mother cells during division. Proteins reported to influence mitochondrial inheritance include the mitochondrial rho (Miro) GTPase Gem1p, Mmr1p, and Ypt11p. A synthetic genetic array (SGA) screen revealed interactions between gem1Delta and deletions of genes that affect mitochondrial function or inheritance, including mmr1Delta. Synthetic sickness of gem1Delta mmr1Delta double mutants correlated with defective mitochondrial inheritance by large buds. Additional studies demonstrated that GEM1, MMR1, and YPT11 each contribute to mitochondrial inheritance. Mitochondrial accumulation in buds caused by overexpression of either Mmr1p or Ypt11p did not depend on Gem1p, indicating these three proteins function independently. Physical linkage of mitochondria with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has led to speculation that distribution of these two organelles is coordinated. We show that yeast mitochondrial inheritance is not required for inheritance or spreading of cortical ER in the bud. Moreover, Ypt11p overexpression, but not Mmr1p overexpression, caused ER accumulation in the bud, revealing a potential role for Ypt11p in ER distribution. This study demonstrates that multiple pathways influence mitochondrial inheritance in yeast and that Miro GTPases have conserved roles in mitochondrial distribution.
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