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Elife. 2019 May 20;8. pii: e42834. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42834.

Live cell imaging of meiosis in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Developmental Biology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Plant Science, Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Contributed equally


To follow the dynamics of meiosis in the model plant Arabidopsis, we have established a live cell imaging setup to observe male meiocytes. Our method is based on the concomitant visualization of microtubules (MTs) and a meiotic cohesin subunit that allows following five cellular parameters: cell shape, MT array, nucleus position, nucleolus position, and chromatin condensation. We find that the states of these parameters are not randomly associated and identify 11 cellular states, referred to as landmarks, which occur much more frequently than closely related ones, indicating that they are convergence points during meiotic progression. As a first application of our system, we revisited a previously identified mutant in the meiotic A-type cyclin TARDY ASYNCHRONOUS MEIOSIS (TAM). Our imaging system enabled us to reveal both qualitatively and quantitatively altered landmarks in tam, foremost the formation of previously not recognized ectopic spindle- or phragmoplast-like structures that arise without attachment to chromosomes.


A. thaliana; cell biology; cyclin; development; meiosis; phragmoplast; plant biology; reproduction; spindle

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