The reconstruction of the nucleolus after mitosis was analyzed by electron microscopy in cultured mammalian (L929) cells in which nucleolar RNA synthesis was inhibited for a 3 h period either after or before mitosis. When synchronized mitotic cells were plated into a concentration of actinomycin D sufficient to block nucleolar RNA synthesis preferentially, nucleoli were formed at telophase as usual. 3 h after mitosis, these nucleoli had fibrillar and particulate components and possessed the segregated appearance characteristic of nucleoli of actinomycin D-treated cells. Cells in which actinomycin D was present for the last 3 h preceding mitosis did not form nucleoli by 3 h after mitosis though small fibrillar prenucleolar bodies were detectable at this time. These bodies subsequently grew in size and eventually acquired a particulate component. It took about a full cell cycle before nucleoli of these cells were completely normal in appearance. Thus, nucleolar RNA synthesis after mitosis is not necessary for organization of nucleoli after mitosis. However, inhibition of nucleolar RNA synthesis before mitosis renders the cell incapable of forming nucleoli immediately after mitosis. If cells are permitted to resume RNA synthesis after mitosis, they eventually regain nucleoli of normal morphology.

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