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Dev Biol. 2005 Feb 1;278(1):220-30.

Aster self-organization at meiosis: a conserved mechanism in insect parthenogenesis?

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1
Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 4, I-53100 Siena, Italy.

Abstract

Unfertilized eggs usually lack maternal centrosomes and cannot develop without sperm contribution. However, several insect species lay eggs that develop to adulthood as unfertilized in the absence of a preexisting centrosome. We report that the oocyte of the parthenogenetic viviparous pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum is able to self-organize microtubule-based asters, which in turn interact with the female chromatin to form the first mitotic spindle. This mode of reproduction provides a good system to investigate how the oocyte can assemble new centrosomes and how their number can be exactly monitored. We propose that the cooperative interaction of motor proteins and randomly nucleated surface microtubules could lead to the formation of aster-like structures in the absence of pre-existing centrosomes. Recruitment of material along the microtubules might contribute to the accumulation of pericentriolar material and centriole precursors at the focus of the asters, thus leading to the formation of true centrosomes. The appearance of microtubule asters at the surface of activated oocytes could represent a possible common mechanism for centrosome formation during insect parthenogenesis.

PMID:
15649474
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.11.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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