Meiotic cDNA libraries reveal gene truncations and mitochondrial proteins important for competitive fitness in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Gametogenesis is an evolutionarily conserved developmental program whereby a diploid progenitor cell undergoes meiosis and cellular remodeling to differentiate into haploid gametes, the precursors for sexual reproduction. Even in the simple eukaryotic organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the meiotic transcriptome is very rich and complex, thereby necessitating new tools for functional studies. Here, we report the construction of 5 stage-specific, inducible complementary DNA libraries from meiotic cells that represent over 84% of the genes found in the budding yeast genome. We employed computational strategies to detect endogenous meiotic transcript isoforms as well as library-specific gene truncations. Furthermore, we developed a robust screening pipeline to test the effect of each complementary DNA on competitive fitness. Our multiday proof-of-principle time course revealed 877 complementary DNAs that were detrimental for competitive fitness when overexpressed. The list included mitochondrial proteins that cause dose-dependent disruption of cellular respiration as well as library-specific gene truncations that expose a dominant negative effect on competitive growth. Together, these high-quality complementary DNA libraries provide an important tool for systematically identifying meiotic genes, transcript isoforms, and protein domains that are important for a specific biological function.