Cell-cell association directed mitotic spindle orientation in the early development of the marine shrimp Sicyonia ingentis
During early cleavages of Sicyonia ingentis embryos, mitotic spindle orientations differ between blastomeres and change in a predictable manner with each successive mitosis. From 2nd through 7th cleavages, spindles orient at a 90 degrees angle with respect to the spindle of the parent blastomere. Thus, spindle orientation is parallel to the cleavage plane that formed the blastomere. To determine if specific spindle orientations were intrinsic properties of individual blastomeres, we altered
... res, we altered blastomere associations and asked how mitotic spindle orientation was affected in successive cleavages using laser scanning confocal microscopy. Linear embryos were constructed by dissociating 4-cell embryos and recombining the blastomeres in a linear array. The ensuing cleavage (3rd embryonic cleavage) of these linear embryos was parallel to the long axis of the embryo, resulting in four parallel pairs of blastomeres which lay in a common plane that was parallel to the substratum. The 4th cleavage produced a linear embryo with the 16 blastomeres arranged in four parallel quartets. Then, in preparation for 5th cleavage, spindles oriented at a 45 degrees angle (not parallel as in normal development) with respect to the previous cleavage plane. When 8-cell linear embryos were separated into linear half-embryos, subsequent spindle orientations were not like those observed for intact 8-cell linear embryos, but rather regressed to the orientation seen in 4-cell linear embryos. We suggest that the reorientation of mitotic spindles during early cleavage of S. ingentis is neither an intrinsic property nor age dependent, but rather is cell contact related. Further, these results in conjunction with observations of non-manipulated embryos suggest that spindle poles (centrosomes) avoid cytoplasmic regions adjacent to where there is cell-cell contact during early development.