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 The Centrosome and the Centrioles

ANIMAL CELL CENTROSOME: The centrosome, also called the "microtubule organizing center", is an area in the cell where microtubles are produced. Within an animal cell centrosome there is a pair of small organelles, the centrioles, each made up of a ring of nine groups of microtubules. There are three fused microtubules in each group. The two centrioles are arranged such that one is perpendicular to the other.

During animal cell division, the centrosome divides and the centrioles replicate (make new copies). The result is two centrosomes, each with its own pair of centrioles. The two centrosomes move to opposite ends of the nucleus, and from each centrosome, microtubules grow into a "spindle" which is responsible for separating replicated chromosomes into the two daughter cells.

PLANT CELL CENTROSOME: Plant cells have centrosomes that function much like animal cell centrosomes. However, unlike centrosomes in animal cells, they do not have centrioles.