The fine structure of the mitotic apparatus isolated from the sea urchin egg has been investigated. The isolation was accomplished by lysis of metaphase eggs in a 1 M solution of hexanediol, buffered at pH 6. The fine structure of the isolated apparatus was studied after fixation with osmium tetroxide directly in the isolation medium. The spindle is composed of fine fibrils, approximately 20 mµ in diameter, which appear tubular. Similar fibrils, radially oriented, are found in the aster. If the isolated mitotic apparatus is exposed to water at pH 6 before fixation, the structure is considerably modified. The most pronounced effects are an increase in the number of large membrane-bounded vesicles and in the amount of free granular material present. The conditions necessary for the fixation of the mitotic apparatus in dividing cells are discussed in the light of these observations on the isolated unit.

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