Meiosis I in males of the Dipteran Sciara coprophila results in the nonrandom distribution of maternally and paternally derived chromosome sets to the two division products. Based on an earlier study (Kubai, D.F. 1982. J. Cell Biol. 93:655-669), I suggested that the meiosis I spindle does not play a direct role in the nonrandom sorting of chromosomes but that, instead, haploid sets are already separated in prophase nuclei well before the onset of spindle formation. Here I report more direct evidence that this hypothesis is true; this evidence was gained from ultrastructural reconstruction analyses of the arrangement of chromosomes in germ line nuclei (prophase nuclei in spermatogonia and spermatocytes) of males heterozygous for an X-autosome chromosome translocation. Because of this translocation, the maternal and paternal chromosome sets are distinguishable, so it is possible to demonstrate that (a) the two haploid chromosome sets occupy distinct maternal and paternal nuclear compartments and that (b) nuclei are oriented so that the two haploid chromosome sets have consistent relationships to a well-defined cellular axis. The consequences of such nonrandom aspects of nuclear structure for chromosome behavior on premeiotic and meiotic spindles are discussed.

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