The microtubule cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells is a dynamic structure that undergoes characteristic rearrangements during the cell cycle. In interphase, microtubule bundles that extend from the centrosomes to the cell tips help to maintain cell polarity in many cell types. At the transition to mitosis, these bundles are replaced by a dynamic nuclear array that ensures accurate chromosome segregation. On p. 4891, Zacheus Cande and co-workers use time-lapse video microscopy and kymographic analysis to investigate how individual microtubules behave in budding yeast. They show that although microtubules within interphase bundles grow and shrink at similar rates, these processes are not coordinated within bundles; each microtubule acts autonomously. The researchers also describe the behaviour of individual nuclear microtubules during mitosis. Overall, their detailed analysis of microtubule behaviour challenges some previously accepted theories of how microtubule-associated proteins and motor proteins interact with microtubule arrays and provides the groundwork for a better understanding of the organisation and regulation of microtubule arrays throughout the cell cycle.