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(cell and molecular biology)
Division of the chromosomes without dissolution of the nuclear membrane; results in polyploidy or polyteny.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in many plants and some animals, doubling of the number of chromosomes in the nuclei of cells.

In contrast to mitosis, the nuclear membrane and the nucleolus are not destroyed, the cleavage spindle does not form, and reorganization of the cytoplasm does not occur. However, the chromosomes do go through the cycle of spiralization and despiralization. Repeated endomitoses lead to the development of giant polyploid nuclei, resulting in an increase of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the cell. The term “endomitosis” also denotes the process of repeated doubling of the nucleoprotein threads (chromonemata), which constitute the core of the chromosomes, without an increase in the number of the chromosomes. As a result of the substantial increase in the amount of DNA in the nuclei, giant (polytenic) chromosomes form.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.