Chromosome segregation ensures the equal partitioning of chromosomes at mitosis. However, long chromosome arms may pose a problem for complete sister chromatid separation. In this paper we report on the analysis of cell division in primary cells from field vole Microtus agrestis, a species with 52 chromosomes including two giant sex chromosomes. Dual chromosome painting with probes specific for the X and the Y chromosomes showed that these long chromosomes are prone to mis-segregate, producing DNA bridges between daughter nuclei and micronuclei. Analysis of mitotic cells with incomplete chromatid separation showed that reassembly of the nuclear membrane, deposition of INner CENtromere Protein (INCENP)/Aurora B to the spindle midzone and furrow formation occur while the two groups of daughter chromosomes are still connected by sex chromosome arms. Late cytokinetic processes are not efficiently inhibited by the incomplete segregation as in a significant number of cell divisions cytoplasmic abscission proceeds while Aurora B is at the midbody. Live-cell imaging during late mitotic stages also revealed abnormal cell division with persistent sister chromatid connections. We conclude that late mitotic regulatory events do not monitor incomplete sister chromatid separation of the large X and Y chromosomes of Microtus agrestis, leading to defective segregation of these chromosomes. These findings suggest a limit in chromosome arm length for efficient chromosome transmission through mitosis.
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