At maturity the companion cell of the phloem of the sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus has a large nucleus, simple plastids closely sheathed with rough endoplasmic reticulum, and numerous mitochondria. The cytoplasm contains numerous ribosomes, resulting in a very electron-opaque cytoplasm after permanganate fixation. Bodies similar to the spherosomes of Frey-Wyssling et al. (4) are collected in clusters and these also contain bodies of an unidentified nature similar to those found by Buttrose (1) in the aleurone cells of the wheat grain. The pores through the wall between the companion cell and sieve tube are complex and develop from a single plasmodesma. Eight to fifteen plasmodesmata on the companion cell side communicate individually with a cavity in the centre of the wall which is linked to the sieve tube by a single pore about twice the diameter of an individual plasmodesma. This pore is lined with material of an electron opacity equivalent to that of material bounding the sieve plate pores. The development of the cell organelles, the possible role played in the phloem tissue by the companion cell, and the function of the complex pores contained in its wall are discussed.

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