Lamellar dispersion and phase separation of chloroplast membrane lipids by negative staining electron microscopy
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Aqueous dispersions of lipids isolated from spinach chloroplast membranes were studied by electron microscopy after negative staining with phosphotungstic acid. Influence of low temperature (5°C for 24 h) was also investigated. It was observed that when contacted with water, these lipids, as such, formed multilamellar structures. Upon sonication, these multilamellar structures gave rise to a clear suspension of unilamellar vesicles varying in size (diameter) between 250 and 750 Å. When samples of sonicated unilamellar vesicles were stored at 5°C for 24 h or more, they revealed a variety of lipid aggregates including liposomes, cylindrical rods (about 100 Å wide and up to 3600 Å long), and spherical micellar structures (100–200 Å in diameter)—thus indicating phase separation of lipids.
KeywordsChloroplast lipids membranes electron microscopy
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