1. It has previously been shown by the author and many others that growth, in animals and plants, is an autocatalysed process. In animals it is usual to find that growth occurs in several superimposed autocatalytic cycles. In many cases, in plants and animals, especially if the cycle is one which occupies a large proportion of the growing period, it is found that the velocity-constant of the autocatalysed monomolecular formula falls off as growth proceeds, at first rapidly and later more slowly.
2. It has previously been shown by the author that the fall of the velocity-constant of growth, in the white mouse, is directly proportional to the fall of the nucleo-cytoplasmic ratio, determined by the chemical method of Le Breton and Schaeffer. If we assume this relationship to be generally applicable to the growth of animals and plants, then the following additional conclusions may be deduced, without calling in the aid of any other assumption:—
3. The increase of cytoplasm in any given cycle of growth is proportional to the concurrent increase of nuclear material.
4. The growth of cytoplasm takes place in accordance with a monomolecular formula in which the velocity-constant varies directly as the mass of the nucleus.
If we superadd to these facts and deductions the hypothesis that each growth-cycle represents the growth of a separate group of cells within the animal, then the additional conclusions follow:—
5. That the cells which participate in the growth composing any cycle have initially lower nucleo-cytoplasmic ratios than the cells which participated in the preceding cycles.
6. That cells of large nucleo-cytoplasmic ratios in a multicellular animal inhibit the growth of cells which possess smaller ratios.
7. These conclusions collectively imply that the nucleus plays a predominant role in determining the development of the cell in which it resides.