Building a new organism usually requires the contribution of two differently shaped haploid cells, the male and female gametes, each providing its genetic material to restore diploidy of the new born zygote. The successful execution of this process requires defined sequential steps that must be completed in space and time. Otherwise, development fails. Relevant among the earlier steps are pronuclear migration and formation of the first mitotic spindle that promote the mixing of parental chromosomes and the formation of the zygotic nucleus. A complex microtubule network ensures the proper execution of these processes. Instrumental to microtubule organization and bipolar spindle assembly is a distinct non-membranous organelle, the centrosome. Centrosome inheritance during fertilization is biparental, since both gametes provide essential components to build a functional centrosome. This model does not explain, however, centrosome formation during parthenogenetic development, a special mode of sexual reproduction in which the unfertilized egg develops without the contribution of the male gamete. Moreover, whereas fertilization is a relevant example in which the cells actively check the presence of only one centrosome, to avoid multipolar spindle formation, the development of parthenogenetic eggs is ensured, at least in insects, by the de novo assembly of multiple centrosomes. Here, we will focus our attention on the assembly of functional centrosomes following fertilization and during parthenogenetic development in insects. Parthenogenetic development in which unfertilized eggs are naturally depleted of centrosomes would provide a useful experimental system to investigate centriole assembly and duplication together with centrosome formation and maturation.
|Titolo:||Parthenogenesis in insects: the centriole renaissance|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|
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