Wignall Lab

 
 

Proper segregation of chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis depends upon the formation of a bipolar spindle.  In most cell types, duplicated centrosomes contribute to spindle assembly by nucleating microtubules and helping to organize the two poles.  However, during meiosis in female animals the centrosomes are degraded prior to the meiotic divisions, and therefore oocyte spindles form in their absence.  We are interested in understanding how these acentrosomal spindles form, how they are organized, and how they promote proper chromosome partitioning.  To address these questions, we combine high-resolution microscopy with genetic, genomic, and biochemical approaches in the nematode C. elegans.

The Wignall lab studies the mechanisms that promote accurate chromosome segregation during oocyte meiosis, an important yet poorly-understood type of cell division.

Above: High-resolution imaging of bipolar and monopolar oocyte spindles in C. elegans during Meiosis I and II