The mitotic spindle consists of two types of microtubules. Dynamic kinetochore microtubules capture kinetochores, whereas stable interpolar microtubules serve as the structural backbone that connects the two spindle poles. Both have been believed to be indispensable for cell division in eukaryotes. Here we demonstrate that interpolar microtubules are dispensable for the second division of meiosis in fission yeast. Even when interpolar microtubules are disrupted by a microtubule-depolymerizing drug, spindle poles separate and chromosomes segregate poleward in second division of meiosis in most zygotes, producing viable spores. The forespore membrane, which encapsulates the nucleus in second division of meiosis and is guided by septins and the leading-edge proteins, is responsible for carrying out meiotic events in the absence of interpolar microtubules. Furthermore, during physiological second division of meiosis without microtubule perturbation, the forespore membrane assembly contributes structurally to spindle pole separation and nuclear division, generating sufficient force for spindle pole separation and subsequent events independently of interpolar microtubules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)