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Keywords:

  • Fusome;
  • Actin;
  • Meiosis;
  • Mitosis;
  • Kinesin;
  • BimC

Abstract

Cytokinesis partitions a centrosome to each daughter cell at cell division that will duplicate and assemble a bipolar spindle in the subsequent M phase. Cytokinesis is incomplete in proliferating germ cells in Drosophila and cytoplasmic channels connect sibling germ cells. Although centrosomes are essential to male fertility, the molecular mechanism that retains centrosomes in parental germ cells is not known. Cortical cytoplasmic structures known as fusomes extend through ring canals and connect cells within the cyst. Fusome assembly in males requires function of hu-li tai-shao (hts), an adducin like protein found in fusomes and in the cortical membrane cytoskeleton of somatic cells. This work used immunological and cytological methods to place hts mutants in an allelic series. Male fertile hts mutants express hts protein and generate apparently normal or fragmented fusomes. A male sterile allele does not express hts protein or show fusome structures. Gonial cells in all hts mutants showed 2 centrosomes and mitotic spindles were bipolar. Yet, primary spermatocytes, with and without fusome structures, frequently contained too many or too few centrosomes. Although spindle structures were not found in spermatocytes without centrosomes, meiotic spermatocytes with centrosomes generated bipolar, monopolar, and multipolar spindles. Collectively, these results indicate that hts function is necessary for centrosome inheritance in spermatocytes as well as for male fertility.