Letter | Published:

Auxotrophic mutants of Dictyostelium discoideum

Nature volume 272, pages 537538 (06 April 1978) | Download Citation



THE cellular slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum is a unicellular organism in its vegetative stage. On starvation, slime mould amoebae gather into aggregates which pass through a morphogenesis culminating in mature fruiting bodies consisting of dead stalk cells supporting a sphere of viable spores1. The laboratory strains of D. discoideum are normally haploid, and the genetic techniques available to study cellular differentiation are based on a parasexual system of analysis which includes selection of temperature-resistant diploids after fusion of two haploid strains bearing complementing temperature-sensitive mutations. Recovery of rare haploid segregants is accomplished by selecting recessive drug resistance markers incorporated into one of the parents2. The parasexual system suffers from a dearth of selectable markers. The creation of a defined minimal medium3 has made possible the isolation of auxotrophic mutants which we describe here. These auxotrophs should improve linkage analysis by increasing the number of selectable genetic loci and should also prove useful for the selection of diploids and for a variety of biochemical purposes.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    The Cellular Slime Molds, 2nd edn (Princeton University Press, 1967).

  2. 2.

    , , & J. gen. Microbiol. 100, 207–211 (1977).

  3. 3.

    & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 2157–2161 (1977).

  4. 4.

    , & J. Bact. 119, 776–783 (1974).

  5. 5.

    Meth. Cell Physiol. 2, 397–410 (1966).

  6. 6.

    , & Exp. Cell Res. 90, 249–252 (1975).

  7. 7.

    , , & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 72, 1712–1716 (1975).

  8. 8.

    FEBS Lett. 70, 71–75 (1976).

  9. 9.

    , , & J. biol. Chem. 193, 265–275 (1951).

Download references

Author information


  1. Cellular and Developmental Biology, The Biological Laboratories, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138



  1. Search for JAKOB FRANKE in:

  2. Search for RICHARD KESSIN in:

About this article

Publication history







By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.