The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model organism for replicative aging studies; however, conventional lifespan measurement platforms have several limitations. Here, we present a microfluidics platform that facilitates simultaneous lifespan and gene expression measurements of aging yeast cells. Our multiplexed high-throughput platform offers the capability to perform independent lifespan experiments using different yeast strains or growth media. Using this platform in minimal media environments containing glucose, we measured the full lifespan of individual yeast cells in wild-type and canonical gene deletion backgrounds. Compared to glucose, in galactose we observed a 16.8% decrease in replicative lifespan accompanied by an ~2-fold increase in single-cell oxidative stress levels reported by P SOD1 -mCherry. Using P GAL1 -YFP to measure the activity of the bistable galactose network, we saw that OFF and ON cells are similar in their lifespan. Our work shows that aging cells are committed to a single phenotypic state throughout their lifespan. The conventional method to measure replicative lifespan of yeast cells requires the use of micromanipulators. However, this technique has several limitations in addition to being labor intensive. Liu et al. demonstrate an automated microfluidics platform that facilitates simultaneous lifespan and gene expression measurements at the single-cell level for aging yeast cells.
Liu, P., Young, T. Z., & Acar, M. (2015). Yeast Replicator: A High-Throughput Multiplexed Microfluidics Platform for Automated Measurements of Single-Cell Aging. Cell Reports, 13(3), 634–644. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.09.012