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Giant meiotic spindles in males from Drosophila species with giant sperm tails.

Abstract : The spindle is a highly dynamic molecular machine that mediates precise chromosome segregation during cell division. Spindle size can vary dramatically, not only between species but also between different cells of the same organism. However, the reasons for spindle size variability are largely unknown. Here we show that variations in spindle size can be linked to a precise developmental requirement. Drosophila species have dramatically different sperm flagella that range in length from 0.3 mm in D. persimilis to 58.3 mm in D. bifurca. We found that males of different species exhibit striking variations in meiotic spindle size, which positively correlate with sperm length, with D. bifurca showing 30-fold larger spindles than D. persimilis. This suggests that primary spermatocytes of Drosophila species manufacture and store amounts of tubulin that are proportional to the axoneme length and use these tubulin pools for spindle assembly. These findings highlight an unsuspected plasticity of the meiotic spindle in response to the selective forces controlling sperm length.
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Ramona Lattao, Silvia Bonaccorsi, Maurizio Gatti. Giant meiotic spindles in males from Drosophila species with giant sperm tails.. Journal of Cell Science, Company of Biologists, 2012, 125 (Pt 3), pp.584-8. ⟨10.1242/jcs.101469⟩. ⟨pasteur-00955466⟩

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