Colonies and spore suspensions of Streptomyces coelicolor were fixed by the method of Kellenberger, Ryter, and Séchaud (1958) and embedded in methacrylate or araldite. Thin sections were cut with an A. F. Huxley microtome and examined in a Siemens' Elmiskop I.
At all stages of development the hyphae of Streptomyces coelicolor have an extensive membranous component in the cytoplasm. The membranes are continuous with the plasma membrane and have a variety of configurations at different places in the hyphae. Tubular structures, vesicles, and parallel stacks of membranes are seen. In some areas concentric layers of membranes form whorled structures which are particularly frequent in the region of developing cross-walls and within maturing spores. In the spores membranous structures often lie embedded in the nuclear material. In disintegrating hyphae the intracytoplasmic membranes round off into small vesicles and remain when the rest of the cytoplasmic structure has gone.
In the absence of typical mitochondria and other cytoplasmic membranous structures it is possible that the membranous component of the cytoplasm of Streptomyces coelicolor may perform the functions of the endoplasmic reticulum and/or the mitochondria of higher cells.