Mechanisms of Cytoplasmic Streaming and Amoeboid Movement

  • T. Shimmen
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 12)


The molecular mechanism of the generation of motive force by actomyosin has been studied most extensively in skeletal muscle. However, the skeletal muscle is a rather highly specialized example of such systems. It is becoming evident that actomyosin is commonly distributed in nonmuscle cells, including plant cells, although the extent of the intracellular organization of the actomyosin molecules is less significant in nonmuscle cells than in skeletal muscle. Cytoplasmic streaming can be observed in a wide variety of plant cells. The mode and the speed of the streaming vary considerably among cells (Kamiya 1959). One of the most important physiological roles of cytoplasmic streaming is the intracellular transport of molecules and organelles in plant cells. Studies on cytoplasmic streaming were started about 200 years ago by Corti (see Kamiya 1959). Systematic analysis of the mechanism of motive-force generation was initiated in Characeae cells and in the plasmodium of the true slime mold, Physarum, by Kamiya and his coworkers. At present, the mechanism of motiveforce generation for cytoplasmic streaming is attributed to actomyosin in most plant cells.


Actin Filament Cytoplasmic Streaming Physarum Polycephalum Internodal Cell Skeletal Muscle Myosin 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Shimmen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceFaculty of Science Himeji Institute of TechnologyAkōgun Hyogo 678-12Japan

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