• Development;
  • Endomitosis;
  • Endopolyploidy;
  • Evolution;
  • Mollusk;
  • Morphogenesis;
  • Oligomerization;
  • Ontogenesis;
  • Phylogenesis


This paper summarizes the works published by author and his co-workers in the Russian journal Tsitologiya concerning endopolyploidy in mollusks and appraises this phenomenon in general. Both ontogenetic and phylogenetic aspects of endopolyploidy have been studied. In the snail Succinea lauta, a complex examination of endomitosis has been performed. A regular replacement of the normal (complete) proliferative mitosis by abnormal (incomplete) restitutional mitosis, and then by Geitler's classic endomitosis has been demonstrated. We examined 29 bivalve and 82 gastropod species for the presence of polyploid cells in glandular tissues and ganglia. In the bivalve species, ordinary diploid cells form various tissues, while in the gastropods, the role of polyploidy in tissue development appears to increase in phylogenesis. The rise of endopolyploidy and cell giantism in histogeneses of a variety of animal and plant species is widely known. It is believed to be a regular event in the evolution of certain groups. To give a universal interpretation of endopolyploidy, we proposed that a single polyploid cell be better considered as an endoclone. In this case, evolutionary transformation of diploid cell clones into polyploid endoclones may be viewed as Dogel's oligomerization applied to cell-tissue level. From this viewpoint, major properties of an oligomerized system (intensification of function, functional efficiency (ergonomy), increased genomes reliability, simplification of the intra- and supersystem regulations, and acceleration of development) can be considered as principal peculiarities of polyploid growth strategy. The above peculiarities allow one to consider endopolyploidy as an additional means of integrative onto(histo)genetic regulations and correlations and as an important evolutionary factor (coordinations) acting through natural selection. Thus, in general, endopolyploidy is an adaptive morphogenetic factor, but its concrete role may differ in different tissues and organisms depending on cell specialization and histogenetic particularities.