Abstract

The movement of chromosomes that precedes meiosis was observed in living cells of fission yeast by fluorescence microscopy. Further analysis by in situ hybridization revealed that the telomeres remain clustered at the leading end of premeiotic chromosome movement, unlike mitotic chromosome movement in which the centromere leads. Once meiotic chromosome segregation starts, however, centromeres resume the leading position in chromosome movement, as they do in mitosis. Although the movement of the telomere first has not been observed before, the clustering of telomeres is reminiscent of the bouquet structure of meiotic-prophase chromosomes observed in higher eukaryotes, which suggests that telomeres perform specific functions required for premeiotic chromosomal events generally in eukaryotes.

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