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Investigating mechanisms of mitosis and size control in Xenopus
Our interdisciplinary approaches take advantage of cytoplasmic extracts prepared from eggs of the frog Xenopus laevis that reconstitute mitotic chromosome condensation and spindle assembly and function in vitro. To study mechanisms of spindle and organelle size control, we utilize a smaller, related frog, Xenopus tropicalis, to investigate interspecies scaling, and extracts prepared from fertilized eggs at different stages of embryogenesis to study developmental scaling. We seek to provide new insight into the underlying principles of spindle assembly and biological size control, as well as the molecular basis of variation that contributes to genomic instability and evolution.