, Volume 238, Issue 3, pp 415-423

New insights into cytomixis: specific cellular features and prevalence in higher plants


The phenomenon of intercellular migration of nuclei in plant tissues (cytomixis) was discovered over a century ago, which has been followed by numerous attempts to clarify the essence of this process as well as to determine its causes and consequences. Most attention of researchers has been paid to cytomixis in microsporogenesis, since the transfer of part of genetic material between microsporocytes may influence the ploidy level of the produced pollen and, presumably, have an evolutionary significance. This review compiles the data on cytological pattern of cytomixis and proposes a scheme as to how cytomictic channels are formed and function in angiosperms. The prevalence of cytomixis in different plant taxa is analyzed using the published data. The causes, mechanisms, and consequences of the nuclear migration between cells in plant tissues are discussed.