Mitosis in syncitial embryos


The Drosophila syncitial embryo is characterised by 13 rapid mitotic cycles that divide the single zygotic nucleus in thousands of nuclei. These migrate to the embryonic cortex, forming a monolayer under the cell membrane around cycle 10. Repetitive spindle assembly can be then recorded within a common cytoplasm without any intervening cytokinesis. This section includes low magnification movies of fluorescent microtubules and centrosomes during syncitial mitosis of cycles 10 and 11. The metaphase spindle ranges around 12 micron long, and the mitotic cycle lasts for approximately 8 minutes. Symmetric centrosome separation prior to mitosis and spindle assembly can be accurately followed. Mitotic waves can be observed that originate from anterior and posterior poles and converge in the middle of the embryo.
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