, Volume 108, Issue 8, pp 501-513

Architecture of the Trypanosoma brucei nucleus during interphase and mitosis

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The structural basis of mitosis, spindle organisation and chromosome segregation, in the unicellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei is poorly understood. Here, using immunocytochemistry, fluorescent in situ hybridisation and electron microscopy, we provide a detailed analysis of mitosis in this parasite. We describe the organisation of the mitotic spindle during different stages of mitosis, the complex ultrastructure of kinetochores and the identification of a potential spindle-organising centre in the mitotic nucleus. We investigate the dynamics of chromosome segregation using telomeric and chromosome-specific probes. We also discuss the problems involved in chromosome segregation in the light of the fact that the T. brucei karyotype has 22 chromosomes in the apparent presence of only eight ultrastructurally defined kinetochores.