1. Electron micrographs of thin sections of material fixed with buffered osmium tetroxide have been used for comparison of the fine structure of isolated cytoplasmic particles from silver beet petioles and roots of germinating wheat with that of the cytoplasm of the intact cells.
2. Mitochondria of wheat roots have an external double membrane and poorly oriented internal double membranes. As compared with the structures seen in situ, the isolated mitochondria showed evidence of some disorganisation of the fine internal structure, probably due to osmotic effects. The possible influence of such changes on the enzymic properties of the isolated mitochondria is discussed.
3. The isolated plant microsomes are mainly spherical vesicular structures consisting of (a) an outer membrane enclosing (b) either an homogeneous slightly dense material (wheat root microsomes) or some granular dense material (silver beet microsomes) and (c) small dense particles, mostly associated with the vesicle membranes.
4. The cytoplasm of the wheat root cells does not contain any structures similar to the isolated microsomes but has a very dense reticular network, consisting of membranes with associated small dense particles, here called the endoplasmic reticulum. The observations indicate that the isolated microsomes arise mainly by rupture and transformation of the membranes of this structure. The effects of such extensive changes in the lipoprotein membranes on the enzymic activities of the endoplasmic reticulum, as studied in isolated microsomes, is discussed.
5. Meristematic wheat root cells contain structures which consist of smooth membranes with associated vacuoles and are similar to the Golgi zones of animal cells. The membranes of these zones probably contribute to the microsomal fraction under the conditions of preparation used for the enzymic and chemical studies previously reported.