Developmental changes in fine structure were studied in plastids of etiolated bean leaves during the time required for the protochlorophyllide-chlorophyllide transformation and the following lag phase prior to chlorophyll accumulation. In agreement with some other workers, two distinct stages of change in the fine structure of proplastids were found to occur upon illumination during this period. The first involves a dissociation of the previously fused units in the prolamellar bodies of the proplastids and occurs simultaneously with the protochlorophyllide-chlorophyllide conversion in light of 655 mµ, but not of 682, 700, or 730 mµ. The effect of the red light could not be reversed by a simultaneously supplied stronger far-red irradiation. The energy requirements for these structural changes parallel those for the pigment conversion. During the following step the vesicles which arose from the fused units of the prolamellar body were dispersed in rows through the stroma, and the prolamellar bodies themselves disappeared. For these changes to occur, higher light energies were required and the leaves had to be illuminated for longer periods. A red preillumination seemed to accelerate the development somewhat. The structural changes could be induced by light of 655 mµ, but also, to a lesser degree, of 730 mµ. No measurable additional chlorophyll accumulated during this period. Thus, the structural changes observed were independent of major changes in pigment content.

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