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Development. 2009 Oct;136(20):3393-7. doi: 10.1242/dev.041822. Epub 2009 Sep 17.

Spindle alignment is achieved without rotation after the first cell cycle in Drosophila embryonic neuroblasts.

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Cell Division Group, IRB-Barcelona, PCB, Barcelona, Spain.


Spindle alignment along the apicobasal polarity axis is mandatory for proper self-renewing asymmetric division in Drosophila neuroblasts (NBs). In embryonic NBs, spindles have been reported to assemble orthogonally to the polarity axis and later rotate to align with it. In larval NBs, spindles assemble directly aligned with the axis owing to the differential spatiotemporal control of the microtubule organising activity of their centrosomes. We have recorded embryonic NBs that express centrosome and microtubule reporters, from delamination up to the fourth cell cycle, by two-photon confocal microscopy, and have found that the switch between these two spindle orientation modes occurs in the second cell cycle of the NB, the first that follows delamination. Therefore, predetermined spindle orientation is not restricted to larval NBs. On the contrary, it actually applies to all but the first cell cycle of embryonic NBs.

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