Developmental progression of Tetrahymena through the cell cycle and conjugation.
Fourteen nitrosoguanidine-induced mutations that bring about temperature-sensitive morphological abnormalities resulting from a specific effect on cell division have been isolated as heterozygous phenotypic assortants in Tetrahymena pyriformis syngen 1. Genetic analysis revealed all to be single-gene recessives. Detailed analysis of the kinetics of assortment for one of the mutated alleles revealed a rate (0.0104 pure lines per fission) consistent with that previously observed at other loci in this organism. The mutations fall into six complementation groups (mo1, mo2, mo3, mo6, mo8, and mo12). Homozygotes of mo2 are unconditionally expresed, while all alleles of mo1, mo6, mo8, and mo12 are heat sensitive for division arrest. At the mo3 locus two alleles are heat senstivie, one is primarily cold sensitive, while two are sensitive to both heat and cold. Two out of three combinations of different mo3 alleles show conventional Mendelian segregation of conditions of expression. Different alleles of mo1, mo3, mo8, and mo12 also manifest differences in penetrance at the restrictive temperature. Despite these differences involving expression, the abnormal phenotypes themselves are locus-specific and distinctive; in the one case (mo1a and mo1b) in which two alleles manifest somewhat different phenotypes, the F1 between them is intermediate. One additional recessive mutation (fat1) brings about a nonconditional lengthening of the cell cycle, with some arrest of cell division at the restrictive temperature. These findings demonstrate that selection of heterozygotes undergoing phenotypic assortment can be an effective method for obtaining substantial numbers of a desired class of temperature-sensitive mutations in T. pyriformis.