Electronic distribution coding in cellular differentiation

B. A. Horwitz, L. P. Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The present theories of cell differentiation explain how different types of cells can be obtained, starting from a single cell or cell type, through the action of gene repressors. They do not, however, provide a model for the primary step, i.e. the control of the repressors themselves by the environmental factors that initiate differentiation. In this paper, it is proposed that changes in the distributions of charge and electric polarization in large molecules, induced by alteration of natural electric fields, are responsible for the primary step in cell differentiation. A discussion of important experiments concerned with the effects of artificial and natural electric fields is given in support of this hypothesis. As an illustration, a mechanism for the initiation of floral differentiation in higher plants by light stimulated electric fields is given in some detail from this point of view, and the problem of embryonic development is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Nov 1973
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Electronic distribution coding in cellular differentiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this