Previous analysis of the bipolar budding pattern of Saccharomyces cerevisiae has suggested that it depends on persistent positional signals that mark the region of the division site and the tip of the distal pole on a newborn daughter cell, as well as each previous division site on a mother cell. In an attempt to identify genes encoding components of these signals or proteins involved in positioning or responding to them, we identified 11 mutants with defects in bipolar but not in axial budding. Five mutants displaying a bipolar budding-specific randomization of budding pattern had mutations in four previously known genes (BUD2, BUD5, SPA2, and BNI1) and one novel gene (BUD6), respectively. As Bud2p and Bud5p are known to be required for both the axial and bipolar budding patterns, the alleles identified here probably encode proteins that have lost their ability to interact with the bipolar positional signals but have retained their ability to interact with the distinct positional signal used in axial budding. The function of Spa2p is not known, but previous work has shown that its intracellular localization is similar to that postulated for the bipolar positional signals. BNI1 was originally identified on the basis of genetic interaction with CDC12, which encodes one of the neck-filament-associated septin proteins, suggesting that these proteins may be involved in positioning the bipolar signals. One mutant with a heterogeneous budding pattern defines a second novel gene (BUD7). Two mutants budding almost exclusively from the proximal pole carry mutations in a fourth novel gene (BUD9). A bud8 bud9 double mutant also buds almost exclusively from the proximal pole, suggesting that Bud9p is involved in positioning the proximal pole signal rather than being itself a component of this signal
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