The Duration of Chromosomal DNA Synthesis, of the Mitotic Cycle, and of Meiosis of Higher Plants

  • Jack Van’t Hof


A relationship between DNA content per cell and the duration of the mitotic cycle in plants was first shown by Van’t Hof and Sparrow (1963) in 1963. Since that time, work on other species has provided additional confirmatory observations, and the information in the tables which follow constitutes an introduction to the literature on the topic. The compilation is limited to the mitotic cycle of cells of higher plants as measured in vivo by the Quastler-Sherman method (Quastler and Sherman, 1959) which utilizes 3H-thymidine and autoradiography. The 2C-DNA content was calculated according to Van’t Hof (1965) when necessary and separate references are given for cases where the durations and DNA content were reported independently. Table 1 lists the 2C-DNA content, the duration of the mitotic cycle (CT), and its parts: the presynthetic (G1), DNA synthetic (S), postsynthetic (G2), and mitotic (M) periods. Data on diploid, tetraploid, and hyperploid species for which no quantitative DNA values are available are also given. The durations of G1, S, G2, M, and CT at different temperatures are listed in Table 2, and those of cells in different histological loci are shown in Table 3. Unless noted otherwise, the data refer to cells of root apices.


Root Meristem Mitotic Cycle Central Cylinder Phalaris Canariensis Root Meristem Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Albert, M. and N. K. Das, 1969 Evidence for control of the rate of nuclear DNA synthesis by the nuclear membrane in eukaryotic cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 63: 123–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arcara, P. G. and V. N. Ronchi-Nutti, 1967 Effect of ethyl alcohol on the mitotic cycle of Allium cepa root meristems. Caryologia 20: 229–232.Google Scholar
  3. Avanzi, S. and P. L. Deri, 1969 Duration of the mitotic cycle in two cultivars of Triticum durum, as measured by 3H-thymidine labeling. Caryologia 22: 187–194.Google Scholar
  4. Ayonoadu, U. W. and H. Rees, 1968 The regulation of mitosis by B-chromosomes in rye. Exp. Cell Res. 52: 284–290.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baetche, K. P., A. H. Sparrow, C. H. Nauman and S. S. Schwemmer, 1967 The relationship of DNA content of nuclear and chromosome volumes and to radiosensitivity (LD60). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 58: 533–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bennett, M. D., 1971 The duration of meiosis. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. B Biol. Sci 178: 277–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bennett, M. D., 1972 Nuclear DNA content and minimum generation time in herbaceous plants. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. B Biol. Sci 181: 109–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennett, M. D. and R. A. Finch, 1972 The mitotic cycle time of root meristem cellls of Hordeum vulgare. Caryologia 25: 439–444.Google Scholar
  9. Bennett, M. D. and J. B. Smith, 1971 The 4C nuclear DNA content of several Hordeum genotypes. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 13: 607–611.Google Scholar
  10. Bennett, M. D. and J. B. Smith, 1972 The effects of polyploidy on meiotic duration and pollen development in cereal anthers. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. B Biol. Sci. 181: 81–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bennett, M. D., V. Chapman and R. Riley, 1971 The duration of meiosis in pollen mother cells of wheat, rye, and Triticale. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. B Biol. Sci. 178: 259–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bryant, T. R., 1969 DNA synthesis and cell division in germinating onion II. Mitotic cycle and DNA content. Caryologia 22: 139–148.Google Scholar
  13. Burholt, D. R. and J. Van’t Hof, 1971 Quantitative thermal-induced changes in growth and cell population kinetics of Helianthus roots. Am. J. Bot. 58: 386–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Choudhuri, H. C., 1969 Late DNA replication pattern in sex chromosomes of Melandrium. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 11: 192–198.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Clowes, F. A. L., 1971 The proportion of cells that divide in root meristems of Zea mays L. Ann. Bot. 35: 249–261.Google Scholar
  16. Evans, G. M. and H. Rees, 1971 Mitotic cycles in dicotyledons and monocotyledons. Nature (.Lond.) 233: 350–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Friedberg, S. H. and H. Davidson, 1970 Duration of S phase and cell cycles in diploid and tetraploid cells of mixoploid meristems. Exp. Cell Res. 61: 216–218.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gupta, S. B., 1969 Duration of mitotic cycle and regulation of DNA replication in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and a hybrid derivative of N. tabacum showing chromosome instability. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 11: 133–142.Google Scholar
  19. Halaban, R., 1972 The mitotic index and cell cycle of Lemna perpusilla under different photoperiods. Plant Physiol. 50: 308–310.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacqmard, A., 1970 Duration of the mitotic cycle in the apical bud of Rudbeckia bicolor. New Phytol. 69: 269–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. John, B. and K. R. Lewis, 1969 The chromosome cycle. In Protplasmatologia, Vol. 6B, Springer-Verlag, Vienna.Google Scholar
  22. Johnson, D. L., 1971 Changes of nuclear acid and protein contents of root tip cells from intact squash plants during development of and recovery from boron deficiency and mitotic cycle changes in root-tip cells during development of boron deficiency. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, R. I.Google Scholar
  23. Jona, R., 1966 La durata del ciclo mitotic nella Bellavalia romona determinata per via autoradiografica mediante l’imprego della timidina H3. Caryologia 19: 429–442.Google Scholar
  24. Kaltsides, P. J., 1971 The mitotic cycle in an amphiploid (Triticale) and its parental species. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 13: 656–662.Google Scholar
  25. Kaltsikes, P. J., 1972 Duration of the mitotic cyle in Triticale. Caryologia 25: 535–542.Google Scholar
  26. Kusanagi, A., 1964 Cytological studies on Luzula chromosomes V. Duration of the mitotic cycle in root meristems of Luzula purpurea as measured with thymidine-H3. Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 77: 77–80.Google Scholar
  27. Kusanagi, A., 1966 Rate of DNA replication in the DNA synthetic period of the barley chromosomes. Chromosoma 20: 125–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Langridge, W. H. R., T. A. O’Malley and H. Wallace, 1970 Neutral amphiplasty and regulation of the cell cycle in Crepis herbs. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 67: 1894–1900.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Macleod, R. D., 1971 Thymidine kinase and thymidylate synthetase in meristems of roots of Vicia faba. Protoplasma 73: 337–348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Martin, P. G., 1966 Variation in the amounts of nucleic acids in the cells of different species of higher plants. Exp. Cell Res. 44: 84–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Matagne, R., 1968 Chromosomal aberrations induced by dialkylating agents in Allium cepa root-tips and their relation to the mitotic cycle and DNA synthesis. Radiat. Bot. 8: 489–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Melera, P. W., 1971 Nucleic acid metabolism in germinating onion. I. Changes in root-tip nucleic acid during germination. Plant Physiol. 48: 73–82.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Miksche, J. P., 1967 Radiobotanical parameters of Pinus banksiana. Naturwissenschaften 12: 322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miksche, J. P. and J. A. Rollins, 1971 Constancy of the duration of DNA synthesis and percent G + C in white spruce from several provenances. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 13: 415–421.Google Scholar
  35. Prasad, A. B. and M. B. E. Godward, 1965 Comparison of the developmental responses of diploid and tetraploid Phalaris following irradiation of the dry seed. I. Determination of mitotic cycle time, mitotic time, and phase time. Radiat. Bot. 5: 465–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Quastler, H. and F. G. Sherman, 1959 Cell population kinetics in the intestinal epithelium of the mouse. Exp. Cell Res. 17: 420–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ronchi, V. N. and P. G. Arcara, 1967 The chromosome breaking effect of 6-methylcou- marin in Allium cepa in relation to the mitotic cycle. Mutat. Res. 4: 791–796.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Skult, H., 1969 Growth and cell population kinetics of tritiated thymidine labeled roots of diploid and autotetraploid barley. Acta Acad. Aboensis Ser. B 29: 1–15.Google Scholar
  39. Sparrow, A. H. and J. P. Miksche, 1961 Correlation of nuclear volume and DNA content with higher plant tolerance to chronic radiation. Science (Wash., D.C.) 134: 282–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sparvoli, E., H. Gay and B. P. Kaufmann, 1966 Duration of the mitotic cycle in Haplopappus gracilis. Caryologia 19: 65–71.Google Scholar
  41. Tanaka, R., 1965 3H-thymidine autoradiographic studies on the heteropycnosis, heterochromatin and euchromatin in Spiranthes sinensis. Bot. Mag (Tokyo) 78: 50–62.Google Scholar
  42. Tanaka, R., 1966 DNA replication in Chrysanthemum lineare, Ch. nipponicum and their Fx hybrid. Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 79: 447–456.Google Scholar
  43. Taylor, H. J., 1961 Control of DNA synthesis. In Conference on Molecular and Radiation Biology, edited by R. A. Deering, pp. 12–20, National Research Council Publication 823, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  44. Thompson, J. and F. A. L. Clowes, 1968 The quiescent centre and rates of mitosis in the root meristem of Allium sativum. Ann. Bot. 32: 1–13.Google Scholar
  45. Titu, H. and I. Popovici, 1970 Duration of mitotic cycle phases in the radicular meristem of diploid and tetraploid sugar beet (Beta vulgaris). Rev. Roum. Biol. Ser. Bot. 16: 51–56.Google Scholar
  46. Van’t Hof, J., 1965 Relationships between mitotic cycle duration, S period duration, and the average rate of DNA synthesis in the root meristem cells of several plants. Exp. Cell Res. 39: 48–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Van’t Hof, J., 1966 Comparative cell population kinetics of tritiated thymidine labeled diploid and colchicine-induced tetraploid cells in the same tissue of Pisum sativum. Exp. Cell. Res. 41: 274–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Van’t Hof, J., 1967 Studies on the relationships between cell population and growth kinetics of root meristems. Exp. Cell Res. 46: 335–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Van’t Hof, J. and A. H. Sparrow, 1963 A relationship between DNA content, nuclear volume, and minimum mitotic cycle time. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 49: 897–902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Webster, P. L. and D. Davidson, 1968 Evidence from thymidine–3H-labeled meristems of Vicia faba of two cell populations. J. Cell Biol. 39: 332–338.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wimber, D. E., 1960 Duration of the nuclear cycle in Tradescantia paludosa root-tips as measured with 3H-thymidine. Am. J. Bot. 47: 828–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wimber, D. E., 1966 Duration of the nuclear cycle in Tradescantia root-tips at three temperatures as measured with H3-thymidine. Am. f. Bot. 53: 21–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yang, D.-P. and D. O. Dodson, 1970 The amounts of nuclear DNA and the duration of DNA synthetic period (S) in related diploid and autotetraploid species of oats. Chromosoma 31: 309–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ziik, J., 1969 Autoradiographic studies in Rumex with special reference to sex chromosomes. In Chromosomes Today, Vol. 2, edited by C. D. Darlington and K. R. Lewis, pp. 183–187, Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Van’t Hof
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentBrookhaven National LaboratoryUptonUSA

Personalised recommendations