The electron microscope has been used to determine the weight distribution of isolated subcellular particles from normal rat liver. The following results are reported: (1) There exist at least two well defined weight populations of subcellular particles; their respective median weights are 1.3 x 10-14 and 11 x 10-14 gm. The lighter fraction is considered to consist of lysosomes, the heavier of mitochondria. (2) The mitochondrial fraction shows a log-normal distribution of the particle weight. (3) By the introduction of morphologic criteria, the mitochondrial fraction is divided into two groups, one consisting of a spherical, the other of an oblong type of particle. The data found support the following concepts: (a) Mitochondria increase their weight from a certain size up by linear growth. (b) Mitochondria divide. The division is not necessarily symmetric; in all cases, however, one part of the division product is a spherical particle. It is felt that these results constitute a valuable demonstration of the general capabilities of quantitative electron microscopy and may stimulate many other useful applications of this technique in cytology, bacteriology, and virology.

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