Cells of Chondrococcus columnaris were sectioned and examined in the electron microscope after fixation by two different methods. After fixation with osmium tetroxide alone, the surface layers of the cells consisted of a plasma membrane, a dense layer (mucopeptide layer), and an outer unit membrane. The outer membrane appeared distorted and was widely separated from the rest of the cell. The intracytoplasmic membranes (mesosomes) appeared as convoluted tubules packaged up within the cytoplasm by a unit membrane. The unit membrane surrounding the tubules was continuous with the plasma membrane. When the cells were fixed with glutaraldehyde prior to fixation with osmium tetroxide, the outer membrane was not distorted and separated from the rest of the cell, structural elements (peripheral fibrils) were seen situated between the outer membrane and dense layer, and the mesosomes appeared as highly organized structures produced by the invagination and proliferation of the plasma membrane. The mesosomes were made up of a series of compound membranes bounded by unit membranes. The compound membranes were formed by the union of two unit membranes along their cytoplasmic surfaces.

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