In bacteria the exact location of a respiratory enzyme system comparable to that of the mitochondria of other cells has remained uncertain. On the one hand, the existence of particulate "bacterial mitochondria" has been advocated (Mudd); on the other hand, important enzymes of the respiratory chain were recovered in the cytoplasmic membranes associated with some granular material (Weibull). In order to gain insight into this question, sites of reducing activity were localized in thin sections of bacteria using the reduction of potassium tellurite as an indicator. When this salt was added to the culture medium of Bacillus subtilis, it turned out that in this Gram-positive organism the reduced product is strictly bound at two sites, and that the plasma membrane does not materially gain in electron opacity through deposition of the reduced product. The reduction product is found on or in the membranes of particular organelles, which may possibly be regarded as the mitochondrial equivalents in Gram-positive bacteria, and which are sometimes seen connected to the plasma membrane. The second location is in thin rod-like elements at the cell periphery, possibly the sites from which the flagella emerge.
A CYTOCHEMICAL LOCALIZATION OF REDUCTIVE SITES IN A GRAM-POSITIVE BACTERIUM : Tellurite Reduction in Bacillus subtilis
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Woutera van Iterson, W. Leene; A CYTOCHEMICAL LOCALIZATION OF REDUCTIVE SITES IN A GRAM-POSITIVE BACTERIUM : Tellurite Reduction in Bacillus subtilis . J Cell Biol 1 March 1964; 20 (3): 361–375. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.20.3.361
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