Systematic exploration of essential yeast gene function with temperature-sensitive mutants.
Conditional temperature-sensitive (ts) mutations are valuable reagents for studying essential genes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We constructed 787 ts strains, covering 497 (∼45%) of the 1,101 essential yeast genes, with ∼30% of the genes represented by multiple alleles. All of the alleles are integrated into their native genomic locus in the S288C common reference strain and are linked to a kanMX selectable marker, allowing further genetic manipulation by synthetic genetic array (SGA)-based, high-throughput methods. We show two such manipulations: barcoding of 440 strains, which enables chemical-genetic suppression analysis, and the construction of arrays of strains carrying different fluorescent markers of subcellular structure, which enables quantitative analysis of phenotypes using high-content screening. Quantitative analysis of a GFP-tubulin marker identified roles for cohesin and condensin genes in spindle disassembly. This mutant collection should facilitate a wide range of systematic studies aimed at understanding the functions of essential genes.