mitosis and centrioles

Bill Purves purves at CS.HMC.EDU
Tue May 5 12:06:50 EST 1998

At 09:36 AM 5/5/98 -0700, my buddy and long-ago student Frank Percival

>A question came up yesterday as I was conducting a review session for my
>general biology class.  We were going over mitosis and noted that plants
>don't have centrioles and that that goes along with their not having
>flagella or cilia-- hence, no basal bodies.  It then occurred to us that
>many plants do have flagella--mosses, ferns, cycads, and Gingko all have
>flagellated sperm.  So, do they also have centrioles?  I did a quick look
>through a plant morphology book but couldn't find the question addressed.
>Do any of you happen to know?  Thanks for your help!

To the best of my knowledge those plants that have flagellated sperm
(indeed, any eukaryote that can produce flagellated or ciliated cells)
possess centrioles.  Their spindles have asters.  Of course, the
centrioles are not involved in spindle production, as also indicated
by the fact that animal cells (experimentally) lacking centrioles
produce normal (but anastral) spindles and proceed to happy mitosis.


William K. Purves               The Mona Group LLC
2817 N. Mountain Avenue        phone: 909.626.4859   
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