Origin of the mitotic spindle in onion root cells

Research paper by J. Kubiak, M. De Brabander, J. De Mey, Jadwiga A. Tarkowska

Indexed on: 01 Feb '86Published on: 01 Feb '86Published in: Protoplasma


Immunofluorescence studies on microtubule arrangement during the transition from prophase to metaphase in onion root cells are presented. The prophase spindle observed at late preprophase and prophase is composed of microtubules converged at two poles near the nuclear envelope; thin bundles of microtubules are tracable along the nuclear envelope. Prior to nuclear envelope breakdown diffuse tubulin staining occurs within the prophase nuclei. During nuclear envelope breakdown the prophase spindle is no longer identifiable and prominent tubulin staining occurs among the prometaphase chromosomes. Patches of condensed tubulin staining are observed in the vicinity of kinetochores. At advanced prometaphase kinetochore bundles of microtubules are present in some kinetochore regions. At metaphase the mitotic spindle is mainly composed of kinetochore bundles of microtubules; pole-to-pole bundles are scarce. Our observations suggest that the prophase spindle is decomposed at the time of nuclear envelope breakdown and that the metaphase spindle is assembled at prometaphase, with the help of kinetochore nucleating action.