What moves chromosomes, microtubules or microfilaments?
An investigation of the spindle apparatus of crane-fly (Nephrotoma suturalis) spermatocytes has been undertaken using methods that permit combined light and electron microscopy of selected cells. At the ultrastructural level, spindles contain microtubules in a granular matrix. Microtubules have been classified as kinetochore microtubules (which connect to kinetochores of chromosomes) and non-kinetochore microtubules (not attached to kinetochores). Kinetochore microtubules are distributed in densely packed bundles, which are the birefringent chromosomal fibers seen in living cells. Actin filaments were not observed in spindles of unglycerinated cells or in cells fixed in glutaraldehyde containing tannic acid, which negatively stains F-actin in situ and thus can be used to aid the localization of actin filaments in non-muscle cells. The absence of actin filaments in the spindle coupled with their presence in the “contractile ring” of spermatocytes fixed during cytokinesis is evidence aga