Preprophase bands, phragmoplasts, and spatial control of cytokinesis.

B. E. Gunning, S. M. Wick

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153 Scopus citations


Features of preprophase bands (PPBs) of microtubules (MTs), and the spatial relationship between phragmosomes, PPB sites, and developing phragmoplasts during cytokinesis, are reviewed, setting new observations in the context of current knowledge. PPBs in onion root tip cells are present by the beginning of the G2 period of the cell cycle. They are at first wide, but later become more compact, narrower bands. MTs traverse the cytoplasm between the band at the cell cortex and the nuclear envelope. This whole assemblage of nucleus, PPB and intervening MTs remains together when the cell is ruptured during preparation for examination by immunofluorescence microscopy. Double bands are occasionally seen in early stages of PPB development, perhaps as a consequence of double induction from neighbouring cells. Calmodulin is not present in PPBs at a higher concentration than in the general cytoplasm, but it is more abundant in parts of the spindle and in the phragmoplast. The PPB MTs disappear at prophase, but nevertheless the new cell plate fuses with the parental cell walls at the PPB site. This spatial relationship can be disrupted by treatment with CIPC. Another experimental disruption of the relationship, accomplished by making minute wounds in the PPB site of mitotic cells in Tradescantia stamen hairs, is described. In other experiments on these cells the phragmoplast is shown to become tethered to the PPB site when the cell plate is half to three-quarters developed, although the telophase nuclei are free to move. Rhodamine-labelled phalloidin reveals putative F-actin in the phragmoplast of Tradescantia, but not in the gap between the extending phragmoplast and the PPB site. Rhodamine-labelled phalloidin also stains cytoplasmic strands that exist when cytoplasmic streaming occurs before and after (but not during) mitosis. Cytochalasin B treatment blocks incorporation of actin into the phragmoplast, which, however, can still develop, though usually abnormally. The F-actin of the phragmoplast may function in consolidation of the cell plate, rather than in spatial guidance of its growth toward the PPB site at the cell surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-179
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of cell science. Supplement
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985


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