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plasmagenePlasmagen (ger.)

  • In some theories: an entity in the cytoplasm of a cell which carries genetic information that can pass to the next generation. (OED 2011)

    [Bleibt zu erörtern, ob nicht theoretisch die Annahme einer Mitwirkung des Cytoplasmas bei der Vererbung auf unüberwindliche Schwierigkeiten stößt, oder ob sie uns nicht vielmehr umgekehrt zu neuen Wegen führt, die mit Aussicht auf Erfolg beschritten warden können. Dabei wird es zweckmäßig sein, zweierlei zu unterscheiden: einmal die Rolle des Cytoplasmas als Substrat für die karyotischen Gene, zweitens seine Rolle als Träger etwaiger plasmatischer Gene.

    Winkler, H. (1924). Über die Rolle von Kern und Protoplasma bei der Vererbung. Z. indukt. Abst.- Vererbungsl. 33, 238-253: 248.]


    The particles in the nucleus are genes; those in the plastids and cytoplasm may perhaps be treated more rigorously if we also think of them as genes—plastogenes and plasmagenes.

    Darlington, C.D. (1939). The Evolution of Genetic Systems: 121.


    Because of their strict parasitism, it has often been supposed that they [scil. viruses] originate (possibly as “free genes” or “plasmagenes”) from cells similar to those in which they can reproduce.

    Luria, S.E. (1945). Genetics of bacterium-bacterial virus relationship. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 32, 235-242: 241.


    If Imai’s lead were followed, a special term would be coined to designate the hypothetical genetic sub-unit in each visible, self-duplicating structure. […] If they are to have a name at all, let them have a common name emphasising their common cytoplasmic localisation and their common gene-like properties. The most appropriate term, it seems to me, is Winkler’s (1924) old term “plasmatic gene,” stripped of its more recently acquired special limitation and condensed to its more familiar form “plasmagene.”

    Sonneborn, T.M. (1950). The cytoplasm in heredity. Heredity 4, 11-36: 16-7.