Demonstration of different patterns of microtubule organization in Physarum polycephalum myxamoebae and plasmodia using immunofluorescence microscopy.
Havercroft JC., Gull K.
We have used anti-tubulin antibodies and immunofluorescence microscopy to determine the overall distribution of microtubules during interphase and mitosis in both the myxamoebae and plasmodia of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum. We have paralleled these observations with electron microscopy of the same stages. The myxamoebae possess a network of cytoplasmic microtubules whilst the coenocytic plasmodium does not possess any cytoplasmic microtubules--at either interphase or mitosis. In plasmodia microtubules are, however, elaborated by an intranuclear microtubule organizing centre (MTOC) during prophase of mitosis and these microtubules proceed to form part of the mitotic spindle. There is little difference in the overall distribution and arrangement of microtubules during division of either the myxamoebal or plasmodial nuclei. These findings are discussed in relation to the synthesis of tubulin during the plasmodial cell cycle and the rearrangements of the nuclear envelope during mitosis.