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Plant Cell. 2000 Dec;12(12):2425-2440.

Plant nuclei can contain extensive grooves and invaginations.

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  • 1Department of Botany, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7612, USA.


Plant cells can exhibit highly complex nuclear organization. Through dye-labeling experiments in untransformed onion epidermal and tobacco culture cells and through the expression of green fluorescent protein targeted to either the nucleus or the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum/nuclear envelope in these cells, we have visualized deep grooves and invaginations into the large nuclei of these cells. In onion, these structures, which are similar to invaginations seen in some animal cells, form tubular or planelike infoldings of the nuclear envelope. Both grooves and invaginations are stable structures, and both have cytoplasmic cores containing actin bundles that can support cytoplasmic streaming. In dividing tobacco cells, invaginations seem to form during cell division, possibly from strands of the endoplasmic reticulum trapped in the reforming nucleus. The substantial increase in nuclear surface area resulting from these grooves and invaginations, their apparent preference for association with nucleoli, and the presence in them of actin bundles that support vesicle motility suggest that the structures might function both in mRNA export from the nucleus and in protein import from the cytoplasm to the nucleus.

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