Three-dimensional localization and redistribution of F-actin in higher plant mitosis and cell plate formation. Academic Article uri icon


  • The distribution of F-actin cables in dividing endosperm cells of a higher plant, Haemanthus, was visualized with the immunogold-silver-enhanced method and compared with the arrangement of immunogold-stained microtubules in the same cells. The three-dimensional distribution of F-actin cables and microtubules during mitosis and cell plate formation was analyzed using ultrathin optical sectioning of whole mounts in polarized light video microscopy. F-actin cables form a loose irregular network in the interphase cytoplasm. Much of this network remains outside of the spindle during mitosis. A few F-actin cables were detected within the spindle. Their pronounced rearrangement during mitosis appears to be related to the presence and growth of microtubule arrays. During prometaphase, actin cables located on the spindle surface and those present within the spindle tend to arrange parallel to the long axis of the spindle. Cables outside the spindle do not reorient, except those at the polar region, where they appear to be compressed by the elongating spindle. Beginning with mid-anaphase, shorter actin cables oriented in various directions accumulate at the equator. Some of them are incorporated into the phragmoplast and cell plate and are gradually fragmented as the cell plate is formed and ages. Actin cables adjacent to microtubule arrays often show a regular punctate staining pattern. Such a pattern is seldom observed in the peripheral cytoplasm, which contains few microtubules. The rearrangement of F-actin cables mimicks the behavior of spindle inclusions, such as starch grains, mitochondria, etc., implying that F-actin is redistributed passively by microtubule growth or microtubule-related transport. Thus F-actin or actomyosin-based motility does not appear to be directly involved in mitosis and cytokinesis in higher plants.

publication date

  • 1988