The lamellae of the bacterium Rhodospirillum molischianum originate as extensions of the cytoplasmic membrane into the cytoplasm of the cell. Initially, these extensions are narrow folds and occur independently of one another. The first lamellae to appear average about 80 A in width, representing one side of the infolded cytoplasmic membrane, or 160 A when the two sides of the fold are closely appressed. The 160-A lamellae increase in number and may associate to form larger lamellae, which represent varying degrees of association between adjacent folds. Later, the space within each fold increases; the two appressed regions of the cytoplasmic membrane in each fold separate to form distinct invaginations, and the lamellae observed at this stage are formed by an association of the sides of adjacent invaginations.

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