By means of a special selective preparation technique, it is possible to investigate in thin sections, by electron microscopy, areas of a cell that have been observed in the living state, by phase-contrast microscopy, up to the time of fixation. Structures recorded in the living state can thus be compared to structures seen in electron micrographs. In cells of the fungus Polystictus versicolor, aggregates of membrane systems as well as single cisternae with a diameter of approximately 200 to 300 A can be detected with phase optics. It can be shown, by calculation, that these structures, which are far below the limit of resolution of the light optical system, give enough contrast to be discernible by phase optics. Thus a basis is provided for observing the dynamics of membrane systems which perhaps may contribute to the analysis of the functional significance of these cell components.

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