Mitochondrial replicon cluster
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary We investigated the manner of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication and distribution during the culture ofPhysarum polycephalum amoebae cells by microphotometry, anti-BrdU immunofluorescence microscopy, and quantitative hybridization analysis. In amoebae cells ofP. polycephalum, the number of mitochondria per cell and the shape of both mitochondria and mitochondrial nuclei (mt-nuclei) noticeably changed over the culture period. At the time of transfer, about 27 short ellipsoidal shaped mitochondria, which each contained a small amount of DNA, were observed in each cell. The number of mitochondria per cell decreased gradually, while the amount of mtDNA in an mt-nucleus and the length of mt-nuclei increased gradually. Midway through the middle logarithmic growth phase, the number of mitochondria per cell reached a minimum (about 10 mitochondria per cell), but most mtnuclei assumed an elongated shape and contained a large amount of mtDNA. During the late log- and stationary-growth phase, the number of mitochondria per cell increased gradually, while the amount of DNA in an mt-nucleus and mt-nuclei length decreased gradually. Upon completion of the stationary phase, the number and condition of mitochondria within cells returned to that first observed at the time of transfer. The total amount of mtDNA in a cell increased about 1.6-fold the first day, decreased immediately, then maintained a constant level ranging from 130 to 160 T. Except for the fact that mtDNA synthesis began earlier than synthesis of cell nuclei, the rate of increase in mtDNA paralleled that of cell-nuclear DNA throughout the culture. These results indicate that mtDNA is continuously replicated in pace with cell proliferation and the rate of mitochondrial division varies during culture; this mitochondrial division does not synchronize with either mtDNA replication or cell division. Furthermore, we observed the spatial distribution of DNA replication sites along mt-nuclei. Replication began at several sites scattered along an mt-nucleus, and the number of replication sites increased as the length of mt-nuclei increased. These results indicate that mtDNA replication progresses in adjacent replicons, which are collectively termed a mitochondrial replicon cluster.
Type of Medium: