Rhodamine-labeled monoclonal antibodies, which react with tyrosinated alpha-tubulin (clone YL 1/2; Kilmartin, J. V., B. Wright, and C. Milstein, 1982, J. Cell Biol., 93:576-582) and label microtubules in vivo (Wehland, J., M. C. Willingham, and I. Sandoval, 1983, J. Cell Biol., 97:1467-1475) were microinjected into syncytial stage Drosophila embryos. At 1 mg/ml antibody concentration, the microtubule arrays of the surface caps became labeled by YL 1/2 but normal development was found to continue. The results are compared with the data from fixed material particularly with regard to interphase microtubules, centrosome separation, and spindle and midbody formation. At 5 mg/ml antibody concentration the microtubules took up larger quantities of antibodies and clumped around the nuclei. Nuclei with clumped microtubules lost their position in the surface layer and moved into the interior. As a result, the F-actin cap meshwork associated with such nuclei either failed to form or subsided. It is concluded that microtubule activity is required to maintain the nuclei in the surface layer and organize the F-actin meshwork of the caps.

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