1. Chlorella pyrenoidosa has been grown in a continuous-culture apparatus under various light intensities provided by incandescent lamps, other conditions of culture being maintained constant. Light intensity curves for cells immersed in the No. 11 Warburg buffer and in Knop's solution + 4.4 per cent CO2 at a saturating light intensity were determined as characteristics of the photosynthetic mechanism. These characteristics were referred to the centrifuged cell volume as an index of quantity of cellular material.
2. Cells grown at intensities in the range of about 35 f.-c. develop a capacity for a high rate of photosynthesis (c.mm. O2/hour/c.mm. cells). At culture intensities above or below this range the cells produced have a lower capacity for photosynthesis. A similar effect is observed for rate of photosynthesis per unit dry weight or rate per unit cell nitrogen.
3. The rate of photosynthesis per cell or rate per unit chlorophyll shows no maximum at any light intensity of culture but increases continuously throughout the range of light intensities studied.
4. Maximum rate of growth is attained at a light intensity of about 100 f.-c. The hypothesis is advanced that at culture intensities above that needed to give maximum rate of growth (100 f.-c.) a mechanism is developed which opposes the photosynthetic process and removes the photosynthetic products.
5. The low capacity for photosynthesis shown by cells grown at culture intensities below 35 f.-c. finds no immediate explanation.
6. The shape of the light intensity curve is markedly affected by the light intensity at which the cells have been cultured. Cells grown at lower intensities give light intensity curves approaching the Blackman type with a short transitional region between light limitation and light saturation.