Mitotic Spindle Dynamics in Drosophila

Ingrid Brust-Mascher, Jonathan M. Scholey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Mitosis, the process by which the replicated chromosomes are segregated equally into daughter cells, has been studied for over a century. Drosophila melanogaster is an ideal organism for this research. Drosophila embryos are well suited to image mitosis, because during cycles 10-13 nuclei divide rapidly at the surface of the embryo, but mitotic cells during larval stages and spermatocytes are also used for the study of mitosis. Drosophila can be easily maintained, many mutant stocks exist, and transgenic flies expressing mutated or fluorescently labeled proteins can be made. In addition, the genome has been completed and RNA interference can be used in Drosophila tissue culture cells. Here, we review our current understanding of spindle dynamics, looking at the experiments and quantitative modeling on which it is based. Many molecular players in the Drosophila mitotic spindle are similar to those in mammalian spindles, so findings in Drosophila can be extended to other organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-172
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Review of Cytology
StatePublished - 2007


  • Drosophila
  • Microtubules
  • Mitosis
  • Motor proteins
  • Spindle dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


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