• ciliogenesis;
  • basal bodies;
  • centrioles;
  • epithelium;
  • cilla

Summary— This review is concerned with the formation during ciliogenesis of centrioles and basal bodies, primarily in epithelial multiciliated cells from the developing vertebrate respiratory and reproductive tracts. During ciliated cell differentiation, in these as well as in other cell types, cilium formation is preceded by the formation of centrioles assembled from precursor structures having little resemblance to the mature organelle. The origin, composition and function of the centriole precursor structures in generating large numbers of centrioles in a short period of time during ciliogenesis is discussed. This review also focuses on the biochemistry of centrioles and basal bodies and on recent experimental evidence that DNA might be associated with these structures.