Chronological Aging in Yeast

The chronological life span of a yeast cell is defined as the length of time that a cell can maintain viability in a nondividing state. Chronological aging in yeast has been studied using a variety of different methods involving culturing cells into stationary phase, a quiescent state in which cells are metabolically active but nonreplicative. Compared to replicative aging, relatively few genes have been studied with respect to their effect on chronological life span; yet, some of the important pathways regulating this process have already emerged. Unlike laboratory growth conditions, the natural environment of a yeast cell is likely to consist of relatively rare periods of exponential growth followed by prolonged periods of starvation-induced quiescence. Chronological aging may, therefore, play an important part in the ecology of wild yeast populations, as well as provide insight into the aging process of nondividing cells in higher eukaryotes.

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