Focus

Cell division without chromosomes

A large body of work indicates that chromosomes play a key role in the assembly of mitotic spindles. Here, we show that Drosophila sspermatocytes can assemble morphologically normal spindles in the absence of chromosomes. The cells containing chromosome-free spindles are also able to assemble regular cytokinetic
structures and cleave normally. This suggests that chromosomes are not indispensable for spindle formation or function.
Bucciarelli E, Giansanti MG, Bonaccorsi S, Gatti M. Spindle assembly and
cytokinesis in the absence of chromosomes during Drosophila male meiosis. J Cell
Biol. 2003;160:993-9.
These findings are the object of the editorial comment "A perfect funeral with no corpse". J Cell Biol. 2003.