UCL Division of Biosciences


Large-scale lifespan assays uncover new ageing genes in fission yeast

11 May 2021

Simple organisms remain the main tool to discover and dissect new ageing-associated genes.

fission yeast bahler

We developed improved experimental and computational methods to study lifespan in non-dividing cells of fission yeast, including parallel profiling of deletion mutants by barcode sequencing and a robotics-based lifespan assay.

Our screen identified 341 long-lived mutants and 1246 short-lived mutants which point to previously unknown ageing-associated genes, including 46 conserved but entirely uncharacterized genes. The ageing-associated genes showed coherent enrichments in processes also associated with human ageing, particularly regarding ageing in non-proliferative brain cells. This study provides an effective methodological platform and identifies many new ageing genes as a framework for analysing cellular ageing in yeast and beyond.