Myxamebas of Polysphondylium violaceum were grown in liquid medium and processed for electron microscopy. Mitosis is characterized by a persistent nuclear envelope, ring-shaped extranuclear spindle pole bodies (SPBs), a central spindle spatially separated from the chromosomal microtubules, well-differentiated kinetochores, and dispersion of the nucleoli. SPBs originate from the division, during prophase, of an electron-opaque body associated with the interphase nucleus. The nuclear nevelope becomes fenestrated in their vicinity, allowing the build-up of the intranuclear, central spindle and chromosomal microtubules as the SPBs migrate to opposite poles. At metaphase the chromosomes are in amphitelic orientation, each sister chromatid being directly connected to the corresponding SPB by a single microtubule. During ana- and telophase the central spindle elongates, the daughter chromosomes approach the SPBs, and the nucleus constricts in the equatorial region. The cytoplasm cleaves by furrowing in late telophase, which is in other respects characterized by a re-establishment of the interphase condition. Spindle elongation and poleward movement of chromosomes are discussed in relation to hypotheses of the mechanism of mitosis.

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