Mitosis and cytokinesis in the free-living binucleate dinoflagellate Peridinium balticum are described, P. balticum contains 2 nuclei; one is a typical dinoflagellate nucleus and the other resembles the interphase nuclei of some eucaryotic cells and is here named the supernumerary nucleus (formerly called the eucaryotic nucleus). The dinoflagellate nucleus divides in the characteristic manner already described for certain other dinoflagellates. The supernumerary nucleus does not undergo normal mitosis; its chromatin does not condense, a spindle is not differentiated for its division, nor are any microtubules present inside the nucleus during any stage of its division. Instead the supernumerary nucleus divides by simple cleavage, which is concurrent with cytoplasmic cleavage. The nucleus cleaves first on its side facing the wall, but later it cleaves circumferentially as the cytoplasmic cleavage furrow draws closer. Invariably at late cytokinesis, a portion of the dividing nucleus passes through the only remaining uncleaved area of the cell. The final separation of the supernumerary nucleus is probably accomplished by the ingrowing furrow pinching the nucleus in two. There is no apparent precise segregation of genetic material during division, nor are there any structural changes inside the dividing nucleus which distinguish it from the interphase nucleus. Certain aspects of amitosis, and previously postulated theories concerning the endosymbiont origin of the second nucleus, are discussed.

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