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Exp Cell Res. 1991 Jan;192(1):10-5.

The spindle is required for the process of sister chromatid separation in Drosophila neuroblasts.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Dundee, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • Exp Cell Res 1991 Apr;193(2):438.


We have studied two aspects of the process of sister chromatid separation in the Drosophila melanogaster neuroblasts. First, we analyzed the requirement of a functional spindle for sister chromatid separation to take place using microtubule depolymerizing drugs such as colchicine or a reversible analogue (MTC). Incubation of this tissue in colchicine causes the cells to block irreversibly at metaphase and no significant levels of sister chromatid separation were observed even after long periods of incubation. Exposure of neuroblasts to MTC also causes cells to block at metaphase, but after reversion most of the cells enter anaphase and are thus able to complete sister chromatid separation. These results imply that a functional spindle is required for sister chromatid separation. Second, we studied the role of heterochromatin during chromatid pairing and subsequent separation in chromosomes which carry either one or two extra pieces of heterochromatin. The results indicate that sister chromatids establish strong pairing along the translocated heterochromatin. During the early stages of anaphase, these chromosomes separate first the centromeric region and later the regions bearing extra heterochromatin. These results indicate that constitutive heterochromatin plays an important role for sister chromatid pairing and might be involved in the process of separation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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