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Syncytial Cleavage

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This video was made by William Therkauf, when he was a professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. This sequence appears in the video CELLebration, edited by R. Fink, published by the American Society for Cell Biology and Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Drosophilia embryos undergo a period of extremely rapid nuclear divisions, without cytokinesis, to produce the syncytial blastoderm. In real time, these mitoses occur every 10-15 minutes.

An embryo has been injected with fluorescent histones to label the chromosomes. The nuclei are followed for two rounds of mitosis, and events such as chromosome condensation, alignment on the metaphase plate, anaphase, and telophase are obvious.