The fine structure of young root hairs of radish was studied, with special attention to cytoplasm-wall relationships. Hairs up to 130 µ in length were examined after fixation of root tips in glutaraldehyde followed by osmium tetroxide. Microtubules occur axially aligned in the cytoplasm just beneath the plasmalemma, and extend from the base of the hair to within 2 to 3 µ of the tip. Poststaining with uranyl acetate and lead citrate clearly reveals in thin sections the presence of the two layers of cellulose microfibrils known from studies on shadowed wall preparations: an outer layer of randomly arranged microfibrils arising at the tip, and a layer of axially oriented microfibrils deposited on the inside of this layer along the sides. The youngest microfibrils of the inner, oriented layer first appear at a distance of about 25 µ from the tip. Although the microfibrils of the inner layer and the adjacent microtubules are similarly oriented, the oriented microtubules also extend through the 20- to 25-µ zone near the tip where the wall structure consists of random microfibrils. This suggests that the role of microtubules in wall deposition or orientation may be indirect.

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