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J Cell Sci. 1978 Jun;31:37-51.

Ultrastructure of mitosis in the chloromonadophycean alga Vacuolaria virescens.


During preprophase in the chloromonadophycean alga Vacuolaria virescens microtubules are present around the flagellar basal bodies and extend over the anterior surface of the nucleus. These microtubules assist in the separation of the flagella and later enter the nucleus through polar gaps. During prophase the nucleoli begin to disperse and the chromosomes become condensed. At metaphase the nucleus assumes an elliptical shape and an equatorial plate of chromosomes becomes aligned across the long axis of the nucleus; kinetochores are recognizable on some of the chromosomes. The nuclear envelope remains intact over most of the surface and in places it forms folds. During anaphase chromosomes are less distinct and vesicles are present in the elongating nucleus. Most of the new nuclear envelope around the progeny nuclei is formed by coalescence of these membrane vesicles during late anaphase and telophase, although some of the original nuclear envelope may also become incorporated. During telophase disintegration of the original nuclear envelope becomes pronounced and portions of this structure are recognizable in the cytoplasm after completion of mitosis. It is suggested that this unusual type of nuclear envelope behaviour may be important in ensuring the segregation of the Golgi apparatus and contractile vacuole to progeny cells. Interphase cells contain a single extensive Golgi apparatus which is located between the anterior surface of the nucleus and the contractile vacuole. The Golgi apparatus and contractile vacuole act as an osmoregulatory system and their presence is presumably essential to the existence of the organism. Formation of a new contractile vacuole and division of the Golgi apparatus occur early in mitosis and thereafter a Golgi apparatus and contractile vacuole become associated with each of the poles of the nucleus. They retain this location throughout mitosis and during cytokinesis, with the result that an osmoregulatory system is present in each of the daughter cells. In a similar manner, microbody-like organelles are associated with the nuclear envelope during mitosis but not at interphase. Growth of the nuclear envelope during mitosis may serve as the means of partitioning these organelles to the progeny cells. Thus mitosis in Vacuolaria virescens is responsible not only for the equal segregation of the genetic material but also for the correct distribution of some of the cytoplasmic components.

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