Organization of kinetochore fiber microtubules (MTs) throughout mitosis in the endosperm of Haemanthus katherinae Bak. has been analysed using serial section reconstruction from electron micrographs. Accurate and complete studies have required careful analysis of individual MTs in precisely oriented serial sections through many (45) preselected cells. Kinetochore MTs (kMTs) and non-kinetochore MTs (nkMTs) intermingle within the fiber throughout division, undergoing characteristic, time-dependent, organizational changes. The number of kMTs increases progressively throughout the kinetochore during prometaphase-metaphase. Prometaphase chromosomes which were probably moving toward the pole at the time of fixation have unequally developed kinetochores associated with many nkMTs. The greatest numbers of kMTs (74-109/kinetochore), kinetochore cross-sectional area, and kMT central density all occur at metaphase. Throughout anaphase and telophase there is a decrease in the number of kMTs and, in the kinetochore cross-sectional area, an increased obliquity of kMTs and increased numbers of short MTs near the kinetochore. Delayed kinetochores possess more kMTs than do kinetochores near the poles, but fewer kMTs than chromosomes which have moved equivalent distances in other cells. The frequency of C-shaped proximal MT terminations within kinetochores is highest at early prometaphase and midtelophase, falling to zero at midanaphase. Therefore, in Haemanthus, MTs are probably lost from the periphery of the kinetochore during anaphase in a manner which is related to both time and position of the chromosome along the spindle axis. The complex, time-dependent organization of MTs in the kinetochore region strongly suggests that chromosome movement is accompanied by continual MT rearrangement and/or assembly/disassembly.

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