Short Research Communication
Department of Biological Sciences, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC V2C 5N3, Canada
Meiosis, the reductive nuclear division, is a continuum, but for purposes of communication, is described in stages. In sexually-reproducing organisms, including the dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium americanum, prophase I of meiosis is prolonged (8 months for female A. americanum). Conversely, metaphase I, where chromosome pairs line up along a dividing cell's "equator", is relatively brief, difficult to predict, but critical regarding the random distribution of the paternal and maternal chromosomes in sexual organisms. However, descriptions of meiosis as either a continuum or stages are limited to qualitative observations. A quantification of meiosis can provide mathematical descriptors and allow for the prediction of when chromosomes reach the equator; this will not only be useful to researchers of cell division, but also to those requiring a large sample of metaphase I materials. Here, the probability-density function was used to calculate the fractal dimension of A. americanum nuclei undergoing early meiosis, and it predicted the onset of metaphase I by 2 days.
Keywords: chromosomal condensation, dwarf mistletoe, fractal, meiosis, probability-density function, quantification