The time and coordination of cell cycle events were examined in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Whole-cell autoradiographic techniques and time-lapse photography were used to measure the duration of the S, G1, and G2 phases, and the cell cycle positions of "start" and bud emergence, in cells whose growth rates were determined by the source of nitrogen. It was observed that the G1, S, and G2 phases underwent a proportional expansion with increasing cell cycle length, with the S phase occupying the middle half of the cell cycle. In each growth condition, start appeared to correspond to the G1 phase/S phase boundary. Bud emergence did not occur until mid S phase. These results show that the rate of transit through all phases of the cell cycle can vary considerably when cell cycle length changes. When cells growing at different rates were arrested in G1, the following synchronous S phase were of the duration expected from the length of S in each asynchronous population. Cells transferred from a poor nitrogen source to a good one after arrest in G1 went through the subsequent S phase at a rate characteristic of the better medium, indicating that cells are not committed in G1 to an S phase of a particular duration.

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