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Cell with two or more nuclei originating from different cell types or species.
A bi- or multinucleate cell having genetically different kinds of nuclei.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a cell that has two or more nuclei that differ in hereditary (genetic) properties. Heterokaryons are widespread in fungi, in which they arise from the fusion of the hyphae and the passing of the nuclei from one hypha to another. In the heterokaryon the content of nuclei of various types can disguise the biochemical defects inherent in one or another type. Therefore, heterokaryon can be grown on a nutrient medium that is insufficient for every type of nucleus in isolation. If during the fusion of hyphae the cell receives genetically identical nuclei, it is called a homokaryon.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kubatiev, "Heterokaryon formation as a method for neuron regeneration in postischemic injury to cerebral cortex in rats," Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, vol.
The quantity of di- and heterokaryons was estimated in the semi-thin sections.
However, in semithin (1 [micro]m) sections, where superimposing is impossible, cells that contained two identical (dikaryons) or different (heterokaryons) nuclei were found.
Because MAP2 is a microtubule-associated protein, its immunoreactivity in heterokaryons manifests in accordance with the location of the cell's microtubules, which are revealed as bright-green matter surrounding the neuron's nucleus; microtubules are also apparent in the initial part of the dendrite.
One of the studies of Purkinje neuron fusion [29] showed a reprogramming of BMDCs nuclei in heterokaryons: neuron Purkinje--BMDC.
The role of the fusion of Purkinje cells with BMDCs has been discussed as a cellular response to support regeneration, in which an increase in the number of heterokaryons was observed in recipients during chronic inflammation [31].
Within such groups heterokaryon formation and the exchange of genetic material are possible, but not between groups.
If the function of vegetative incompatibility is [TABULAR DATA OMITTED] to prevent the formation of heterokaryons, the widespread occurrence of vegetative incompatibility suggests that the disadvantages of heterokaryon formation will, on the average, be greater than the advantages.
Furthermore, we explore the fate of mutants that are Heterokaryon Self-Incompatible or Omnicompatible.
In this case, recombination between incompatibility genes is impossible, because heterokaryon formation between VCGs is impossible by definition.
In a heterokaryon, however, h nuclei have a proliferative advantage at the cost of H nuclei.
The mycelia meet in pairs, and if they are compatible, they fuse to form a heterokaryon. If they are incompatible, they survive normally and grow side by side as two homokaryons.