We have microinjected aphidicolin, a specific inhibitor of DNA polymerase alpha, into syncytial Drosophila embryos. This treatment inhibits DNA synthesis and, as a consequence, nuclear replication. We demonstrate that under these conditions several cycles of both centrosome replication and cortical budding continue, although the cycles have a longer periodicity than is normally found. As in uninjected embryos, when the cortical buds are present, the embryos have nuclei containing decondensed chromatin surrounded by nuclear membranes as judged by bright annular staining with an anti-lamin antibody. As the buds recede, the unreplicated chromatin condenses and lamin staining becomes weak and diffuse. Thus, both cytoplasmic and nuclear aspects of the mitotic cycle continue following the inhibition of DNA replication in the Drosophila embryo.

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