The physiological and morphological phenotype of a yeast mutant resistant to the quaternary ammonium salt N-(dodecyloxycarboxymethyl)-N,N,N-trimethyl ammonium chloride
© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2010
Received: 10 July 2009
Accepted: 21 January 2010
Published: 29 January 2010
We investigated the action of the quaternary ammonium salt (QAS) called IM (N-(dodecyloxycarboxymethyl)-N,N,N-trimethyl ammonium chloride) on Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells. Changes in the yeast cell ultrastructure were confirmed by electron microscopy. We treated resistant mutant cells with QAS, and confirmed destruction of the mutant cytoplasm, an increase in the thickness of the cell wall, separation of the cell wall from the cytoplasm, and the accumulation of numerous lipid droplets. We also observed a relatively high production of lipids in the cells of the parental wild-type strain Σ1278b and in its IM-resistant (IMR) mutant in the presence of the QAS. The IMR mutant showed increased sensitivity to CaCl2 and SDS, and resistance to ethidium bromide, chloramphenicol, erythromycin and osmotic shock. It also tolerated growth at low pH. We suggest that the resistance to IM could be connected with the level of permeability of the cell membrane because the IMR mutant was sensitive to this compound in vivo in the presence of SDS and guanidine hydrochloride, which cause increased permeability of the cell plasma membrane.