Live cell imaging of meiosis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Elife. 2019 May 20:8:e42834. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42834.


To follow the dynamics of meiosis in the model plant Arabidopsis, we have established a live cell imaging setup to observe male meiocytes. Our method is based on the concomitant visualization of microtubules (MTs) and a meiotic cohesin subunit that allows following five cellular parameters: cell shape, MT array, nucleus position, nucleolus position, and chromatin condensation. We find that the states of these parameters are not randomly associated and identify 11 cellular states, referred to as landmarks, which occur much more frequently than closely related ones, indicating that they are convergence points during meiotic progression. As a first application of our system, we revisited a previously identified mutant in the meiotic A-type cyclin TARDY ASYNCHRONOUS MEIOSIS (TAM). Our imaging system enabled us to reveal both qualitatively and quantitatively altered landmarks in tam, foremost the formation of previously not recognized ectopic spindle- or phragmoplast-like structures that arise without attachment to chromosomes.

Keywords: A. thaliana; cell biology; cyclin; development; meiosis; phragmoplast; plant biology; reproduction; spindle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Intravital Microscopy / methods*
  • Meiosis*
  • Organelles / metabolism
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Plant Cells / chemistry
  • Plant Cells / physiology*