This paper investigates further the question of whether the flagella of Proteus mirabilis emerge from basal bodies. The bacteria were grown to the stage of swarmer differentiation, treated lightly with penicillin, and then shocked osmotically. As a result of this treatment, much of the cytoplasmic content and also part of the plasma membrane were removed from the cells. When such fragmented organisms were stained negatively with potassium phosphotungstate, the flagella were found to be anchored—often by means of a hook—in rounded structures approximately 50 mµ wide, thus confirming Part I of our study. In these rounded structures a more brilliant dot was occasionally observed, which we interpret as being part of the basal granule. A prerequisite for the demonstration of the basal granules within the cells was, however, the removal of both the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane from their vicinity. In some experiments, the chondrioids were "stained" positively by the incorporation into them of the reduced product of potassium tellurite. The chondrioids were here observed to be more or less circular areas from which rodlike structures extended. The chondrioids adhered so firmly to the plasma membrane that they were carried away with it during its displacement by osmotic shocking, while the basal bodies were left behind. This observation disproves our previous suggestion that the flagella might terminate in the chondrioids. The basal bodies often occur in pairs, which suggest that they could be self-reproducing particles.
BASAL BODIES OF BACTERIAL FLAGELLA IN PROTEUS MIRABILIS : II. Electron Microscopy of Negatively Stained Material
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Judith F. M. Hoeniger, Woutera van Iterson, Eva Nijman van Zanten; BASAL BODIES OF BACTERIAL FLAGELLA IN PROTEUS MIRABILIS : II. Electron Microscopy of Negatively Stained Material . J Cell Biol 1 December 1966; 31 (3): 603–618. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.31.3.603
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