F-actin has been identified in the preprophase band of Allium cepa. Cells attached to subbed slides were obtained from formaldehyde-fixed root tips digested in EGTA and Cellulysin. The air-dried cells were extracted in Triton X-100, treated with rhodamine-phalloidin, rinsed briefly in PBS, and viewed in the fluorescence microscope. Interphase cells contain a network of actin fibers that extends into all areas of the cytoplasm. During preprophase, the network is replaced by a band of fibers aligned in the position of the preprophase band. Colocalization of F-actin with rhodamine-phalloidin and microtubules with tubulin immunocytochemistry confirms that the two bands are coincident. The actin appears to comprise a thin layer of fibers next to the plasmalemma. Like the microtubule preprophase band, the actin band narrows as preprophase progresses and disappears by midprophase. Fluorescent actin bands are not seen in fixed cells pretreated with excess unlabeled phalloidin before staining. They are also absent in roots exposed to cytochalasins B and D before fixation, but preprophase band microtubules at all stages of aggregation are still present. Colchicine treatment leads to the loss of both preprophase band microtubules and actin. The possible function of preprophase band actin is discussed.

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