Freeze-fracture of rapidly frozen, untreated plant cells reveals terminal complexes on E-fracture faces and intramembrane particle rosettes on P-fracture faces. Terminal complexes and rosettes are associated with the ends of individual microfibril impressions on the plasma membrane. In addition, terminal complexes and rosettes are associated with the impressions of new orientations of microfibrils. These structures are sparse within pit fields where few microfibril impressions are observed, but are abundant over adjacent impressions of microfibrils. It is proposed that intramembrane rosettes function in association with terminal complexes to synthesize microfibrils. The presence of a cellulosic microfibril system in Zea mays root segments is confirmed by degradation experiments with Trichoderma cellulase.

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