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Elastic Tethers Between Separating Anaphase Chromosomes Regulate the Poleward Speeds of the Attached Chromosomes in Crane-Fly Spermatocytes


Elastic "tethers" connect separating anaphase chromosomes in most (or all) animal cells. We tested whether tethers are involved in coordinating movements of separating anaphase chromosomes in crane-fly spermatocytes. In these cells the coupled movements of separating chromosomes become uncoupled after the tethers are severed by laser microbeam irradiation of the interzone region between the chromosomes (Sheykhani et al., 2017). While this strongly suggests that tethers are involved with coordinating the poleward chromosome movements, the experiments are open to another interpretation: laser irradiations that cut the tethers also might damage something else in the interzone, and those non-tether components might regulate chromosome movements. In the experiments reported herein we distinguish between those two possibilities by disabling the tethers without cutting the interzone. We cut the arms from individual chromosomes, thereby severing the mechanical connection between separating chromosomes, disconnecting them, without damaging components in the interzone. Disabling tethers in this way uncoupled the movements of the separating chromosomes. We thus conclude that tethers are involved in regulating the speeds of separating anaphase chromosomes in crane-fly spermatocytes.

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