For three species of grasshoppers the volumes of the largest and the smallest metaphase chromosome differ by a factor of 10, but the microtubules (MTs) attached to the individual kinetochores show no corresponding range in numbers. Locusta mitotic metaphase chromosomes range from 2 to 21 μm, and the average number of MTs per kinetochore is 21 with an SD of 4.6. Locusta meiotic bivalents at late metaphase I range from 4 to 40 μm(3), and the kinetochore regions (= two sister kinetochores facing the same spindle pole) have an average of 25 kinetochore microtubules (kMTs) with an SD of 4.9. Anaphase velocities are the same at mitosis and meiosis I. The smaller mitotic metaphase chromosomes of neopodismopsis are similar in size, 6 to 45 μm(3), to Locusta, but they have an average more kMTs, 33, SD = 9.2. The four large Robertsonian fusion chromosomes of neopodismopsis have an average of 67 MTs per kinetochore, the large number possibly the result of a permanent dicentric condition. Chloealtis has three pairs of Robertsonian fusion chromosomes which, at late meiotic metaphase I, form bivalents of 116, 134, and 152 μm (3) with an average of 67 MTs per kinetochore similar to Locusta bivalents, but with a much higher average of 42 MTs per kinetochore region.
It is speculated that, in addition to mechanical demands of force, load, and viscosity, the kMT numbers are governed by cell type and evolutionary history of the karyotype in these grasshoppers.