The effects of culture environment on the volume density and surface density of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum in a facultative yeast were studied. When compared with cells grown aerobically on a nonrepressive substrate, cells grown in the absence of oxygen showed a sharp reduction in both volume density of mitochondria and surface density of the inner mitochondrial membrane (imm) in the remaining mitochondrial profiles. Use of fermentable (repressive) substrates under aerobic conditions restricted the volume density of mitochondria to a much greater extent than the surface density of imm. The range of mitochondrial volume densities in these experiments was 4-11%. Surface density of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was sensitive to growth rate and in particular to changes in oxygen tension, showing large fluctuations during both anaerobic and aerobic adaptation. These fluctuations in ER are discussed in relation to the known role of this organelle in lipid metabolism.

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