An analysis of spindle ultrastructure during anaphase of micronuclear division in Tetrahymena

Cell Motil. 1980;1(1):41-61. doi: 10.1002/cm.970010105.


Mitotic micronuclei were isolated from Tetrahymena thermophila and data on spindle ultrastructure were obtained from serial, transverse sections. Comparison of data from nuclei at meta- and early anaphase with data from nuclei at late anaphase showed that during anaphase, sister kinetochores move from the equator to the spindle poles, but kinetochore translocation occurs without any apparent change in either the number or length of kinetochore microtubules. This unprecedented result is ascribed significance with regard to the mechanism of kinetochore transport since there are only a limited number of ways that result could be achieved. The organization of the peripheral sheath changes during anaphase as evidenced by gaps in the sheath at late anaphase. Numerous kinetochore and non-kinetochore microtubules are located in polar regions of the spindle at late anaphase, whereas those regions contained only peripherally arranged microtubules at earlier stages. Tracking of individual kinetochore microtubules in late anaphase nuclei showed that some of them appeared to become incorporated into the peripheral sheath near the pole. At early and late anaphase, crossbridges connect adjacent microtubules throughout the spindle poleward to the kinetochores, as well as in the interzone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase*
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Centromere / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mitosis*
  • Nuclear Envelope / ultrastructure
  • Tetrahymena / ultrastructure*