A novel method for in situ screening of yeast colonies with the β-glucuronidase reporter gene

Heribert Hirt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Expression of the β-galactosidase gene in yeast has served as a screening marker for many purposes. Here it is shown that in two yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene can be used as an alternative marker. Since the histochemical substrate can not be taken up by yeast cells, direct colony screening of plates was found to be impossible. However, by a replica plating technique, GUS expression became visibly detectable within 10 min when the GUS gene was strongly expressed. The staining method could still be performed for expression at a 100-fold lower level, but incubation times of several hours were needed. Furthermore, specific GUS expression levels of yeast protein extracts could be quantified by a fluorometric assay which is both very simple to perform and highly sensitive. Since the GUS gene can also tolerate large N-terminal fusions, this method should be particularly attractive for studying such diverse problems as transcriptional and translational regulation or subcellular localization in yeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-439
Number of pages3
JournalCurrent Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 1991


  • Colony colour assay
  • Fluorometric assay
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe
  • β-glucuronidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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