When dark-grown cells of Ochromonas danica are placed in the light, the amount of chlorophyll a per cell increases 82-fold; the content of carotenoid pigment, 24-fold. Concomitantly with this increase in chlorophyll and carotenoid pigment, the small proplastid of dark-grown cells develops into a large lamellate chloroplast. During the first 12 hours in the light, vesicles appear within the loose clusters of dense chloroplast granules, enlarge, align themselves into rows (plates in three dimensions), and fuse into discs. Double discs may form from the more or less simultaneous fusion of two adjacent plates of vesicles or by the addition of vesicles to an already formed single disc. Three-disc bands arise by the addition of a disc to an already formed two-disc band through the approach and fusion of more vesicles. After 24 hours in the light, most of the chloroplast bands contain three discs, but the chloroplasts are still small. After 48 hours in the light, almost all the cells contain full-sized chloroplasts with a full complement of three-disc bands. However, at this time the amount of chlorophyll a and carotenoid pigment is only one-half of maximum. During the next 3 days in the light, as the number of chlorophyll and carotenoid molecules per chloroplast approximately doubles, there is a compression of the discs in each band (from 180 to 130 A) and a precise alignment of their membranes. Changes also occur in the nucleus when dark-grown cells are placed in the light. There is an increase in the number of small nucleolar bodies, many of which lie directly against the nuclear envelope, and in a few cells a dense mass of granules is seen between the two membranes of the nuclear envelope.

This content is only available as a PDF.