Glass electrode measurements of the pH value of the sap of cells of Nitella show that azure B in the form of free base penetrates the vacuoles and raises the pH value of the sap to about the same degree as the free base of the dye added to the sap in vitro, but the dye salt dissolved in the sap does not alter the pH value of the sap. It is concluded that the dye penetrates the vacuoles chiefly in the form of free base and not as salt.
The dye from methylene blue solution containing azure B free base as impurity penetrates and accumulates in the vacuole. This dye must be azure B in the form of free base, since it raises the pH value of the sap to about the same extent as the free base of azure B dissolved in the sap in vitro. The dye absorbed by the chloroform from methylene blue solution behaves like the dye penetrating the vacuole. These results confirm those of spectrophotometric analysis previously published.
Crystal violet exists only in one form between pH 5 and pH 9.2, and does not alter the pH value of the sap at the concentrations used. It does not penetrate readily unless cells are injured.
A theory of "multiple partition coefficients" is described which explains the mechanism of the behavior of living cells to these dyes.
When the protoplasm is squeezed into the sap, the pH value of the mixture is higher than that of the pure sap. The behavior of such a mixture to the dye is very much like that of the sap except that with azure B and methylene blue the rise in the pH value of such a mixture is not so pronounced as with sap when the dye penetrates into the vacuoles.
Spectrophotometric measurements show that the dye which penetrates from methylene blue solution has a primary absorption maximum at 653 to 655 mµ (i.e., is a mixture of azure B and methylene blue, with preponderance of azure B) whether we take the sap alone or the sap plus protoplasm.
These results confirm those previously obtained with spectrophotometric measurements.