We have studied the arrangements of actin-containing filaments in 13 bundles of kinetochore microtubules in glycerinated, heavy meromyosin-treated Haemanthus endosperm cells: 7 bundles were in a cell at anaphase, and 6 were in a cell at metaphase. Actin-containing filaments were present in each of the 13 bundles of kinetochore microtubules: they were in amongst the microtubules in the bundle and seemed to be associated with the microtubules. Actin-containing filaments in each bundle seemed to terminate at the kinetochores. Actin-containing filaments associated with the kinetochore microtubules were of consistent polarity (the arrowheads pointed towards the kinetochores) whereas those associated with other microtubles and those not associated with microtubules did not have consistent polarity (some pointed towards the spindle pole, others pointed away from it). Roughly, there were as many individual stretches of actin-containing filaments identified per bundle of kinetochore microtubules as there were microtubules which terminated at the kinetochore. These data suggest that actin-containing filaments in spindles have a functional role. We used 2 glycerination procedures in our studies (one for each cell), and neither seemed to disrupt the basic microtubule arrangements: the arrangements of spindle microtubules seen after glycerination of Haemanthus endosperm were identical to those described previously by others in non-glycerinated glutaraldehyde-fixed Haemanthus endosperm. Thus we argue that spindle structure is not disrupted by the procedures, and therefore that the arrangements of actin-containing filaments are not artifacts of the glycerination procedures. The only difference between microtubules in glycerinated cells and microtubules in untreated cells is that there seem to be fewer in the glycerinated cells. The possible role of actin-containing filaments in the spindle is discussed.
- © 1979 by Company of Biologists