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*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.

CIL:7751*  Cite 

Centrioles multiply exactly once in preparation for cell division.In this remarkably rare image, four centrioles are seen in one electron micrograph of a thin section cut from a Chinese hamster fibroblast grown in tissue culture. The two centrioles that appear circular are the 'mother' centrioles, in the sense that they are older, while the two in longitudinal section, which appear rectangular, are 'daughters.' They were initially formed only hours earlier as this cell began the S-phase of its cell cycle, and they are not yet fully mature. We can tell that the centrioles in longitudinal section are the daughters because they lack the appendages that would be apparent in longitudinal sections of mother centrioles. We don't see them on the mother centrioles that are in cross section because the appendages are out of the plane of section. The mother centrioles bind 'pericentriolar material', which initiates the growth of microtubules. As the cell enters mitosis, the two pairs of centrioles will separate, so one mother and one daughter centriole will be situated at each pole of the growing mitotic spindle. Thus, each daughter cell will inherit two centrioles, each of which can help organize the formation of a daughter centriole during the subsequent S-phase, so the cycle can continue. Chinese hamster fibroblasts were cultured in McCoy's medium supplemented with 20% fetal calf serum. They were rinsed with phosphate buffer then fixed for one hour with 1% OsO4 in the same buffer. They were then stained with uranyl acetate, dehydrated in an ethanol series, embedded in epoxy resin, sectioned, and imaged with an electron microscope operating at 60 KeV. This image originally appeared in: McGill M, Highfield DP, Monahan TM, Brinkley BR. Effects of nucleic acid specific dyes on centrioles of mammalian cells. J Ultrastruct Res. 1976;57:43-53. Image generously made available by William Brinkley (Baylor). Original resource provided by Keith R Porter Archives (University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD). This image was created by Manley McGill in 1976 while he was a member of the laboratory of William Brinkley at The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. Dr. Brinkley (currently at Baylor College of Medicine) has dedicated this publication to the memory of his former student.

Biological Sources
NCBI Organism Classification
Cricetulus griseus
Cell Type
primary cell line cell
Cellular Component
Biological Context
Biological Process
Manley Mcgill
D.P. Highfield
T.M. Monahan
B.R. Brinkley
Journal of Ultrastructure Research Volume 57, Issue 1, October 1976, Pages 43-53
Keith R Porter Archives (University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Archival Resource Key (ARK)
Image Type
recorded image
Image Mode
transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
Parameters Imaged
electron density
Source of Contrast
differences in adsorption or binding of stain
Visualization Methods
uranyl salt
Processing History
unprocessed raw data
Sample Preparation
osmium tetroxide fixed tissue
tissue in epoxy resin embedment
Relation To Intact Cell
sectioned tissue
Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 4500px 0.649nm
Y 3126px 0.649nm