Selected tissues from chick embryos were fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde and 1% OsO4, both buffered at pH 7.6 with Veronal-acetate, and were embedded in Maraglas or Araldite. Two types of cell division have been noted. Generally, epithelial cells divide predominantly by a shortening of the chromosome-to-pole distance rather than by spindle elongation; mesenchymal cells undergo extensive spindle elongation. The presence of numerous continuous microtubules in cells that undergo extensive spindle elongation functionally implicates these tubules in the elongation process. In most embryonic epithelia, the cleavage furrow converges to a fixed site forming a mid-body near the anchoring desmosomes at the free surface; symmetrical furrow formation is typical of mesenchymal cells which lack desmosomes. The hypothesis of cleavage furrow formation and the fate of the mid-body that is formed during cytokinesis are discussed.

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