, Volume 74, Issue 1–2, pp 53–70 | Cite as

Motile protoplasmic fibtils in cells of theCharaceae

  • Eiji Kamitsubo


  1. 1.

    In order to further elucidate the mechanism of protoplasmic streaming, the structure and behaviour of motile protoplasmic fibrils were studied in living characean cells ofNitella flexilis, Lamprothamnium succinctum, andCbara australis on the light microscopic level.

  2. 2.

    Motile fibrils similar to those described in cytoplasmic drops isolatedin vitro from Characeae cells, are also foundin vivo in the endoplasm in centrifuged cells. The intracellular, freely-moving fibrils appear mostly in the form of polygons.

  3. 3.

    The modes of movement of the fibrillar loops are classified into two categories,i.e., 1) undulatory type and 2) rotatory type. Generally the fibrils belonging to the undulatory type have many small cytoplasmic particles associated with them while those classified as rotatory type are nearly free of particles and the fibrilsper se are observable. The width of the naked fibril is estimated to be in the range 0.1–0.2μ. It was shown that the speed of the fibrils of the rotatory type approximates the rate of normal protoplasmic streaming (70–80 μ/sec at 23° C).

  4. 4.

    A thin (ca. 0.2μ), linear, stationary fibrillar structure is found at zoneD (cf., Fig. 1) of the centrifuged internode ofNitella. The characteristics of the linear structure anchored to the cortex are quite similar to those of the motile fibrillar loops of the rotatory type. Transition from the linear fibril to the rotating loop was observed. It was shown that there is a close relation between the linear fibrillar structure and protoplasmic streaming.

  5. 5.

    The thin, linear, stationary fibrillar structures are also found in the rhizoid and both etiolated and intact internodes ofNitella flexilis and in normal internodal cells of bothLamprothamnium succinctum andChara australis. The fibrils in question seem to be the morphological entity responsible for protoplasmic streaming.



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eiji Kamitsubo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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