Irradiation of the mitotic spindle in living Nephrotoma suturalis (Loew) spermatocytes with an ultraviolet microbeam of controlled dose produced a localized area of reduced birefringence in the spindle fibers. The birefringence was reduced only at the site irradiated, and only on the spindle fibers irradiated. Areas of reduced birefringence, whether produced during metaphase or during anaphase, immediately began to move toward the pole in the direction of the chromosomal fiber, even though the associated chromosomes did not necessarily move poleward. Both the poleward and the chromosomal sides of the area of reduced birefringence on each chromosomal fiber moved poleward with about the same, constant, velocity. On the average, the areas of reduced birefringence moved poleward with about the same velocities as did the chromosomes during anaphase. The area of reduced birefringence was interpreted as a region in which most, though not necessarily all, of the previously oriented material was disoriented by the irradiation. The poleward movement of the areas of reduced birefringence indicates that the spindle fibers are not static, nonchangeable structures. The poleward movement possibly represents the manner in which the birefringent spindle fibers normally become organized. All the experiments reported were on primary spermatocytes which completed the second meiotic division subsequent to the experimentation. Since both the irradiated and the control cells completed the two meiotic divisions, the movement and irradiation effects studied in the first division were nondegenerative.

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