The phospholipid composition of various strains of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and several of their derived mitochondrial mutants grown under conditions designed to induce variations in the complement of mitochondrial membranes has been examined. Wild type and petite (cytoplasmic respiratory deficient) yeasts were fractionated into various subcellular fractions, which were monitored by electron microscopy and analyzed for cytochrome oxidase (in wild type) and phospholipid composition. 90% or more of the phospholipid, cardiolipin was found in the mitochondrial membranes of wild type and petite yeast. Cardiolipin content differed markedly under various growth conditions. Stationary yeast grown in glucose had better developed mitochondria and more cardiolipin than repressed log phase yeast. Aerobic yeast contained more cardiolipin than anaerobic yeast. Respiration-deficient cytoplasmic mitochondrial mutants, both suppressive and neutral, contained less cardiolipin than corresponding wild types. A chromosomal mutant lacking respiratory function had normal cardiolipin content. Log phase cells grown in galactose and lactate, which do not readily repress the development of mitochondrial membranes, contained as much cardiolipin as stationary phase cells grown in glucose. Cytoplasmic mitochondrial mutants respond to changes in the glucose concentration of the growth medium by variations in their cardiolipin content in the same way as wild type yeast does under similar growth conditions. It is concluded that cardiolipin content of yeast is correlated with, and is a good indicator of, the state of development of mitochondrial membrane.

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