Microtubule nucleating sites in higher plant cells identified by an autoantibody against pericentriolar material


ABSTRACT Human scleroderma serum 5051, which is known to recognize the amorphous pericentriolar microtubule organizing center material of a variety of vertebrate cells, was found to immunostain spindle poles of meristematic higher plants from pre-prophase to late anaphase. Subsequently, during cytokinesis, staining was redistributed around the reforming telophase nuclei, but was not evident in the cytokinetic phragmoplast. At the transition between telophase and interphase, before the typical cortical interphase microtubule array was established, short microtubules radiated from the nucleus and in such cells the material recognized by 5051 was located around the daughter nuclei and not the cortex. These observations have led us to propose that the perinuclear region, or the nuclear surface, may function as a nucleation center for both spindle and interphase microtubules in higher plant cells. Four successive microtubule arrays are present during the cell cycle in meristematic higher plant cells: the interphase cortical array (which is involved in orienting fibrils in the wall), the pre-prophase band (which predicts the division plane), the spindle, and, finally, the cytokinetic phragmoplast (12, 20

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