Sterile root cultures from Nicotiana tabacum were grown with H3-thymidine added to the medium for various intervals. Incorporation of the labeled nucleoside into nuclear DNA occurred in a fraction of the nuclei which increased with time. In addition, the cytoplasm of all cells incorporated enough tritium to be readily detected by autoradiography. The tritium was not removed by hydrolysis in 1 N HCl at 60°C for 10 minutes, but was removed by digestion in a DNase solution which also removed nuclear DNA. The amount of tritium in the cytoplasm increased during the first 2 hours, but did not appear to increase significantly during the following 5 hours. If the roots were transferred to unlabeled medium after 2 hours, the label was diluted faster than expected by growth without turnover of the labeled component. If FUdR was added to the unlabeled medium, the depletion occurred faster during the first 6 hours, but later appeared to level off so that at 10 hours these cultures did not differ from those incubated without FUdR. However, the addition of an excess of unlabeled carrier had no effect on the rate of depletion of the cytoplasmic label. Actinomycin D, which inhibited the incorporation of H3-cytidine into RNA in the root tips, had no effect on the incorporation of H3-thymidine into the cytoplasmic component. However, Mitomycin C or a high concentration of deoxyadenosine inhibited the incorporation of H3-thymidine into the cytoplasmic component as well as into the nuclear DNA. It is concluded that H3-thymidine is incorporated into a cytoplasmic fraction which has the characteristics of DNA, with a measurable rate of turnover. This fraction is synthesized regardless of whether or not the nucleus is synthesizing DNA. Although the function of cytoplasmic fraction is not yet known, it does not appear to be that of supplying precursors for the synthesis of the nuclear DNA.

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