, Volume 249, Issue 4, pp 1151–1162 | Cite as

Strasburger’s legacy to mitosis and cytokinesis and its relevance for the Cell Theory

  • František BaluškaEmail author
  • Dieter Volkmann
  • Diedrik Menzel
  • Peter Barlow
New Ideas in Cell Biology


Eduard Strasburger was one of the most prominent biologists contributing to the development of the Cell Theory during the nineteenth century. His major contribution related to the characterization of mitosis and cytokinesis and especially to the discovery of the discrete stages of mitosis, which he termed prophase, metaphase and anaphase. Besides his observations on uninucleate plant and animal cells, he also investigated division processes in multinucleate cells. Here, he emphasised the independent nature of mitosis and cytokinesis. We discuss these issues from the perspective of new discoveries in the field of cell division and conclude that Strasburger’s legacy will in the future lead to a reformulation of the Cell Theory and that this will accommodate the independent and primary nature of the nucleus, together with its complement of perinuclear microtubules, for the organisation of the eukaryotic cell.


Cell Theory Eduard Strasburger Cytokinesis 



We are grateful to Professor TB Batygina and the Laboratory of Embryology and Reproductive Biology of the Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Peterburg, Russia, for supplying the portrait of Eduard Strasburger shown in Fig. 1.

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interests


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • František Baluška
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dieter Volkmann
    • 1
  • Diedrik Menzel
    • 1
  • Peter Barlow
    • 2
  1. 1.IZMBUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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