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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1994;27(3):219-33.

Microtubule converging centers and reorganization of the interphase cytoskeleton and the mitotic spindle in higher plant Haemanthus.

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Biology Faculty, Department of Cytology and Histology, Moscow University, Russia.


We analyzed the distribution and orientation of transitory microtubule structures, microtubule converging centers, during interphase and mitosis in endosperm of the higher plant Haemanthus. In interphase the pointed tips of microtubule converging centers are associated with the nuclear envelope. Their orientation gradually reverses during prophase, and the tips tend to point away from the nucleus. From prometaphase through early telophase, microtubule converging centers are present predominantly in the cytoplasm at the polar region. They are either "free" or associated with chromosomes or microtubule bundles. In late telophase, pointed tips of microtubule converging centers are again associated with the reconstructed nuclear envelope and, additionally, they often appear in the phragmoplast area. The orientation of microtubule converging centers seems to be directly correlated to the previously determined microtubule polarity, with the converging tip being minus and the diverging one, plus. Elevated temperature (35 degrees-37 degrees C) enhances the number of microtubule converging centers in the cytoplasm and at the nuclear envelope. This is especially pronounced during the telophase-interphase transition and in some interphase cells, indicating temperature and stage dependence. Our data imply that microtubule converging centers bind together MT minus ends and, thus, control the predominant direction of elongation and shortening of microtubule arrays. We argue that these configurations are instrumental during the reorganization of interphase cytoskeleton and mitotic spindle in Haemanthus endosperm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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