The conformation and structure of an atypical crista found in a small percentage of the mitochondria in root tip cells of Phaseolus vulgaris L. have been studied electron microscopically in material fixed in glutaraldehyde followed by osmium tetroxide. In its transformation into an atypical crista, a normal crista elongates, broadens, and flattens, and the inner leaflets of its apposed unit membranes appear to fuse in a manner analogous to the formation of "tight junctions" between certain animal cells. The result is a large platelike, quintuple-layered structure, 240–260 A thick, whose long axis parallels that of the mitochondrion. The outer layers of the "plate," bordering on the mitochondrial matrix, are thickened and exhibit striking patterns in the micrographs. The structure of the plate is compared with that previously described for tight junctions between animal cells.

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