In maize root meristem cells, fixed in KMnO4, embedded in epoxy resin, ultrathin sectioned, and studied with an electron microscope, the nuclear envelope is demonstrated to be a double membrane structure. In the nuclear envelope there are: pores of the sort reported in many species of animals and plants; different types of openings associated with extensions of both nuclear membranes into the cytoplasm; and also, often, large discontinuities. The nuclear envelope is a component of the general vesicular reticulum. The reticula of neighboring cells including the nuclear envelopes make up, at certain stages at least, a "systemic" structure. The status of the nuclear envelope as a component of the general cellular reticulum is recognized to change during differentiation. The existence of several types of discontinuities in the nuclear envelope and the extent of nuclear-cytoplasmic surface relationships indicated suggests alteration in concepts of transport and exchanges between nucleus and cytoplasm.

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