Understanding the dual spindle assembly phenomenon in mammalian zygotes
During the first embryonic division, mammalian zygotes initially form two bipolar spindles of the maternal and paternal chromosomes. The many aspects of dual spindle assembly and function are still unknown, including the question about the contribution of cytoplasmic and chromosomal microtubule nucleation to the spindle’s formation and cases of error-prone alignment. The EU-funded DualSpindleAssembly project aims to discover the mechanism and function of dual spindle assembly, using light-sheet microscopy, computational image analysis and molecular perturbations. High-resolution 4D imaging of live mouse zygotes will allow the tracking of individual nucleation sites and microtubule tips. This will create the first spatial map of microtubule nucleation and help to decipher the role of the two microtubule populations in dual spindle assembly.