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Cell. 1983 Nov;35(1):15-25.

Generation of asymmetry and segregation of germ-line granules in early C. elegans embryos.


Germ-line granules in C. elegans embryos (P granules) can be visualized by immunofluorescence microscopy using a monoclonal antibody. In mutant zygotes with abnormal spindle orientations and in wild-type zygotes treated with the microtubule inhibitors nocodazole, colcemid, vinblastine, and griseofulvin, both P-granule segregation to the posterior pole and the concomitant pseudocleavage occur apparently normally, but the normally concurrent migration of the pronuclei is inhibited. Conversely, treatment of wild-type embryos with the microfilament inhibitors cytochalasins D and B inhibits P-granule segregation and pseudocleavage, as well as other manifestations of polarity, without preventing pronuclear migration. The results suggest that P-granule segregation does not require either the spindle or cytoplasmic microtubules, but that this process as well as generation of other asymmetries does require cytoskeletal functions that depend on microfilaments.

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