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The "standard" biological setup is one cell-one nucleus (with one or more chromosomes and zero or more plasmids). Multinucleate cells are a thing (e.g., in fungi)--a situation wherein a single cell (cytoplasm at least) hosts multiple nuclei.

I am curious to know whether the inverse situation has ever been documented (or is even possible at all)--i.e., multiple cells sharing a single nucleus.

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    $\begingroup$ You should specify that you are asking about eukaryotic cells, unless a eukaryotic cell with intracellular bacterial parasites would count. I also think for this to be answerable you have to specify how are you defining a cell — depending on that definition you may not need an answer. Do you think you can have a eukaryotic cell without a nucleus? If no, then how could you have more than one cell, but only one nucleus? If yes, then what is your definition of a cell? One situation you should think about is the mammalian (anucleate) red blood "cell" ... $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Dec 12, 2021 at 2:06

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If we think rationally, such a situation seems quite impossible because of reasons like-

  1. The nucleocytoplasmic ratio would become too less and it is one of the reasons why mitosis takes place. Its like handing over a huge country to a small administration which will most likely not end up very well.
  2. Now, another problem is how exactly we think about a cell as tyresome has pointed out. Are you thinking about a structure like a cell with a nucleus and surrounding cells separated by a plasma membrane but lacking nucleus and the cell that has the nucleus is basically controlling all of the structure? This is pretty unlikely however one such situation does seem to exist in the biological world and that is in phloem of angiosperms. Here, at maturity the sieve tube nucleus degenerates and the companion cell controls all its requirements via numerous plasmodesmata. You can call this a uninucleate multicellular system however I have not read in any literature it being referred to as such. Again, you never know in future we may discover something that resembles a uninucleate multicellular system.
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    $\begingroup$ Please provide citations to support your first claim. Some nerve cells can be very large - centimeters to meters in length, depending on species - yet they are uninucleate. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Dec 12, 2021 at 13:06

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