Division of cell nuclei, mitochondria, plastids, and microbodies mediated by mitotic spindle poles in the primitive red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae

Yuuta Imoto, Takayuki Fujiwara, Yamato Yoshida, Haruko Kuroiwa, Shinichiro Maruyama, Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


To understand the cell cycle, we must understand not only mitotic division but also organelle division cycles. Plant and animal cells contain many organelles which divide randomly; therefore, it has been difficult to elucidate these organelle division cycles. We used the primitive red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae, as it contains a single mitochondrion and plastid per cell, and organelle division can be highly synchronized by a light/dark cycle. We demonstrated that mitochondria and plastids multiplied by independent division cycles (organelle G1, S, G2 and M phases) and organelle division occurred before cell-nuclear division. Additionally, organelle division was found to be dependent on microtubules as well as cell-nuclear division. We have observed five stages of microtubule dynamics: (1) the microtubule disappears during the G1 phase; (2) α-tubulin is dispersed within the cytoplasm without forming microtubules during the S phase; (3) α-tubulin is assembled into spindle poles during the G2 phase; (4) polar microtubules are organized along the mitochondrion during prophase; and (5) mitotic spindles in cell nuclei are organized during the M phase. Microfluorometry demonstrated that the intensity peak of localization of α-tubulin changed in the order to spindle poles, mitochondria, spindle poles, and central spindle area, but total fluorescent intensity did not change remarkably throughout mitotic phases suggesting that division and separation of the cell nucleus and mitochondrion is mediated by spindle pole bodies. Inhibition of microtubule organization induced cell-nuclear division, mitochondria separation, and division of a single membrane-bound microbody, suggesting that similar to cell-nuclear division, mitochondrion separation and microbody division are dependent on microtubules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyanidioschyzon merolae
  • Microbody division
  • Microtubule
  • Mitochondrion division
  • Organelle cell cycle
  • Spindle pole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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