Fourteen prometaphase kinetochore microtubule bundles have been examined in electron micrographs of serial sections. The majority (54%) of the microtubules extended from the polar region towards the kinetochore but do not end in the kinetochore proper. Rather, they stop short of the kinetochore (21%), graze the kinetochore (19%), or pass through the kinetochore (9%), displaying a free end distal to the pole. Other microtubules that make up the kinetochore bundle include: kinetochore-to-pole microtubules (24%), chromosome-to-pole microtubules (5%), pieces with two free ends (14%), and those microtubules with one end in the kinetochore and a free end distal to the kinetochore (9%). We conclude that the majority of the microtubules in the kinetochore bundle are most likely of polar origin rather than having been nucleated at the kinetochore. Prometaphase-I kinetochores can display any one of four patterns of microtubule connections with the poles, but the pattern of microtubule connections is not always correlated with kinetochore position. For instance, a kinetochore directly facing one pole may have microtubule connections with both poles while a kinetochore positioned 90 degrees to the spindle axis may have microtubules running towards one pole only.

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