Cell elongation is an adaptive response for clearing long chromatid arms from the cleavage plane.
J Cell Biol
Chromosome segregation must be coordinated with cell cleavage to ensure correct transmission of the genome to daughter cells. Here we identify a novel mechanism by which Drosophila melanogaster neuronal stem cells coordinate sister chromatid segregation with cleavage furrow ingression. Cells adapted to a dramatic increase in chromatid arm length by transiently elongating during anaphase/telophase. The degree of cell elongation correlated with the length of the trailing chromatid arms and was concomitant with a slight increase in spindle length and an enlargement of the zone of cortical myosin distribution. Rho guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (Pebble)-depleted cells failed to elongate during segregation of long chromatids. As a result, Pebble-depleted adult flies exhibited morphological defects likely caused by cell death during development. These studies reveal a novel pathway linking trailing chromatid arms and cortical myosin that ensures the clearance of chromatids from the cleavage plane at the appropriate time during cytokinesis, thus preserving genome integrity.