Assembly and persistence of primary cilia in dividing Drosophila spermatocytes

Dev Cell. 2012 Aug 14;23(2):425-32. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.05.024.


Basal bodies are freed from cilia and transition into centrioles to organize centrosomes in dividing cells. A mutually exclusive centriole/basal body existence during cell-cycle progression has become a widely accepted principle. Contrary to this view, we show here that cilia assemble and persist through two meiotic divisions in Drosophila spermatocytes. Remarkably, all four centrioles assemble primary cilia-centriole complexes that transit from the plasma membrane encased in a packet of membrane, recruit centrosomal material into microtubule-organizing centers, and persist at the spindle poles through division. Thus, spermatocyte centrioles organize centrosomes and cilia simultaneously at cell division. These findings challenge the prevailing view that cilia antagonize cell-cycle progression and raise the possibility that cilium retention at cell division may occur in diverse organisms and cell types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division*
  • Cilia
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Spermatocytes / cytology*