Markedly improved fixation of leaf tissues is obtained by means of a glutaraldehyde (or acrolein)-osmium tetroxide procedure, as compared with the results of potassium permanganate or osmium tetroxide fixation methods. The procedure has proved useful in all species so far examined. Chloroplasts are particularly well preserved. In this paper details of components of the ground-substance of Avena sativa plastids are presented. They include the following:—(i) The "tromacentre" is an area of aggregated fibrils, each 85 A in diameter, and of uncertain length. Individual fibrils may be composed of subunits. The whole aggregate is usually up to 1 µ in diameter, and is visible in thin sections in the light microcope. It is present at all stages of plastid development, and, under conditions of rapid synthesis in the plastid, it may be up to 2 µ in diameter. Evidence that it is proteinaceous is presented. Osmiophilic globules are often associated with it. (ii) Areas which resemble bacterial and blue-green algal nucleoplasms, containing fibrils approximately 30 A wide. These regions are smaller than the stromacentre and, like that structure, they occur in all stages of plastid development. Unlike it, there are several such areas per chloroplast. (iii) Particles which have some of the morphological and staining characteristics of ribosomes. Present at all stages of development, they are approximately two-thirds the size of the cytoplasmic ribosomes. They can occur in groups, thus resembling polyribosomes. (iv) The remaining material is granular, and may include dissociated portions of stromacentre material. The validity of the observations and their significance is discussed.

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