Sections of Rhodospirillum rubrum cells from cultures of different ages have been examined to obtain information on the development of chromatophores in this organism. Cells from the 12-hour cultures studied contain neither distinct invaginations of the cytoplasmic membrane nor distinct chromatophores. The first structures that can be related to chromatophore development occur peripherally in the cells, are relatively few in number, relatively high in density, and have an indistinct membrane. In cells from 26-hour cultures numerous distinct invaginations of the cytoplasmic membrane are present, and all layers of the cytoplasmic membrane are involved in the formation of each invagination. As the invaginations become more numerous, the ends of the invaginations become constricted to form one or more structures similar to the chromatophores previously described in this organism. Cells of R. rubrum, therefore, develop a structural continuum which initially consists of invaginations of the cytoplasmic membrane, and later of the chromatophores produced by and attached to these invaginations. The presence of this continuum, however, does not necessarily exclude the existence of discrete chromatophores within these cells. Several other structures previously reported in this organism are described in greater detail.

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