Spectrophotometric measurements show that it is chiefly the trimethyl thionin that is present in the sap extracted from the vacuoles of uninjured cells of Nitella or Valonia which have been placed in methylene blue solution at a little above pH 9. Whether these measurements were made immediately or several hours later the same results were obtained. Methylene blue is detected in the sap (1) when the cells are injured or (2) when the contamination of the sap from the stained cell wall occurs at the time of extraction.

The sap is found to be incapable of demethylating methylene blue dissolved in it even on standing for several hours.

It is somewhat uncertain as to whether the trimethyl thionin penetrated as such from the external methylene blue solution which generally contains this dye as impurity (in too small concentration for detection by spectrophotometer but detectable by extraction with chloroform), or whether it has formed from methylene blue in the protoplasm. The evidences described in the text tend to favor the former explanation.

Theory is discussed on basis of more rapid penetration of trimethyl thionin (in form of free base) than of methylene blue, or of trimethyl thionin in form of salt.

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