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Curr Biol. 2015 Mar 16;25(6):732-740. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.060. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

Scaling, selection, and evolutionary dynamics of the mitotic spindle.

Author information

1
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Electronic address: rfarhadifar@cgr.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Biology and University of Florida Genetics Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
3
Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the Cell, UMR 5239, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 69007 Lyon, France.
4
Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
5
Experimental Center, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Fiedlerstrasse 42, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
6
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cellular structures such as the nucleus, Golgi, centrioles, and spindle show remarkable diversity between species, but the mechanisms that produce these variations in cell biology are not known.

RESULTS:

Here we investigate the mechanisms that contribute to variations in morphology and dynamics of the mitotic spindle, which orchestrates chromosome segregation in all Eukaryotes and positions the division plane in many organisms. We use high-throughput imaging of the first division in nematodes to demonstrate that the measured effects of spontaneous mutations, combined with stabilizing selection on cell size, are sufficient to quantitatively explain both the levels of within-species variation in the spindle and its diversity over ∼100 million years of evolution. Furthermore, our finding of extensive within-species variation for the spindle demonstrates that there is not just one "wild-type" form, rather that cellular structures can exhibit a surprisingly broad diversity of naturally occurring behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results argue that natural selection acts predominantly on cell size and indirectly influences the spindle through the scaling of the spindle with cell size. Previous studies have shown that the spindle also scales with cell size during early development. Thus, the scaling of the spindle with cell size controls its variation over both ontogeny and phylogeny.

PMID:
25683802
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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