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Chromosome Res. 2000;8(2):151-63.

Evidence that kinetochore fibre microtubules shorten predominantly at the pole in anaphase flea-beetle spermatocytes.

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  • 1Biology Department, York University, North York, Ontario, Canada.


Kinetochore spindle fibres in flea-beetle metaphase primary spermatocytes have two regions with distinct morphologies. As seen after staining with antibodies against tubulin, the kinetochore microtubules are tightly bundled in the 5 microm closest to the kinetochore but they splay out in the region closest to the pole. This morphology persists throughout anaphase. This distinct morphology allows one to deduce the site where kinetochore microtubules depolymerise during anaphase. During poleward movement of the autosomes in anaphase, the bundled region shortens by about 0.25 microm for each 1 microm the chromosome moves poleward; this suggests that, during anaphase, 75% of the kinetochore microtubule shortening occurs at the pole end. Sex chromosomes in metaphase cells are separated from the autosomes and do not move poleward at the same time as the autosomes: they are reported to move poleward when the autosomes are in metaphase, to stop part way to the poles, and to move poleward again as the autosomes do (Virkki 1970). Kinetochore microtubules of the sex chromosomes also have bundled and splayed regions; measurements of those regions suggest that these chromosomes may move poleward before the autosomes enter anaphase, but not afterwards.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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