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© D. BONAZZI/CNRS Photothèque N°33 I quarterly I April 2014 Snapshot | 39 Confocal Art BY Isabelle Tratner wThese colorful shapes would not look out of place on the wall of a modern art museum. Yet they are actually fluorescence-labeled fission yeasts (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) observed under a confocal microscope. The red and green labels respectively reveal the cell membrane, and the tubulin microfilaments with the nucleus. Researchers from the IJM1 in Paris used this model system to study the evolution of cell morphology, and more precisely how the round spores of the yeast develop into a rod-shaped polar cell. They showed that this process is due to a complex balance between spore growth, mechanical constraints on the cell wall, and the movements of a patch of polarity proteins that will direct growth in a specific direction once symmetry is broken.2 Because cell morphology and polarity are essential parameters in the development and growth of any living cells that build up organisms, this research may help elucidate similar processes in higher eukaryotes, as well as diseases where cell morphology is modified, like drepanocytosis or metastatic cancer. 01. Institut Jacques Monod (CNRS / Université Denis Diderot / Inserm). 02. D. Bonazzi et al., Developmental Cell, 2014. 28: 534–6. Contact Information: IJM, Paris. Daria Bonazzi > bonazzi.daria@ijm.univ-paris-diderot.fr


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