With a modified color-translating ultraviolet microscope, the distribution of material showing an absorption maximum at 265 mµ was studied in samples from whole cultures of Entamoeba invadens at intervals during growth and from cysts allowed to mature under controlled conditions. Absorption by the cytoplasm in general gradually increased as trophozoites approached the period of maximum encystment. In late trophozoites and precystic forms, the absorbing material was concentrated into small bodies which coalesced to form large crystalloids of very high specific absorption. Maximum crystallization occurred in early cysts, where cytochemical tests have shown the large crystalloids to be ribonucleoprotein. Electron micrographs show that the crystalloids are composed of particles 200 to 300 A in diameter. During cyst maturation the amount of absorbing material per cyst is not visibly reduced, but the large bodies fragment into smaller units until finally there is only a very high diffuse absorption over the entire cyst. From these and other results the hypothesis is advanced that the large crystalloids ("chromatoid bodies") are a manifestation of a special parasite-host adaptive mechanism; ribonucleoprotein is synthesized under favorable conditions, crystallized in the resistant cyst stage, and dispersed in the newly excysted amebae thereby enabling them to establish themselves in a new host by a period of quick growth.

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