Monochromatic light microscopy at 435 mµ shows in Euglena gracilis, the distribution of chlorophyll and the general orientation and geometry of chloroplasts in vivo. In addition it discloses, in swelling chloroplasts, a lamellar pigmented structure. Changes in this structure are observed in extruded swollen chloroplasts treated with lipolytic or proteolytic enzymes. Lipolytic enzymes produce an increase in the number of visible lamellae while proteolytic enzymes disrupt the lamellar array.
Correlation of chloroplast swelling behavior and the effects of enzymatic degradation with current electron microscope observations support the following: (1) the pigment lamellae observed in vivo consist of component laminae; (2) the lamellae are separated by sites of swelling; and (3) the integrity of the lamellar structure is primarily dependent upon the intact state of the protein.