The morphological features of the cell wall, plasma membrane, protoplasmic constituents, and flagella of Acetobacter suboxydans (ATCC 621) were studied by thin sectioning and negative staining. Thin sections of the cell wall demonstrate an outer membrane and an inner, more homogeneous layer. These observations are consistent with those of isolated, gram-negative cell-wall ghosts and the chemical analyses of gram-negative cell walls. Certain functional attributes of the cell-wall inner layer and the structural comparisons of gram-negative and gram-positive cell walls are considered. The plasma membrane is similar in appearance to the membrane of the cell wall and is occasionally found to be folded into the cytoplasm. Certain features of the protoplasm are described and discussed, including the diffuse states of the chromatinic material that appear to be correlated with the length of the cell and a polar differentiation in the area of expected flagellar attachment. Although the flagella appear hollow in thin sections, negative staining of isolated flagella does not substantiate this finding. Severe physical treatment occasionally produces a localized penetration into the central region of the flagellum, the diameter of which is much smaller then that expected from sections. A possible explanation of this apparent discrepancy is discussed.

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