Previous investigators have proposed that cytoplasmic streaming in Chara internodal cells results from the interaction between an endoplasmic factor and fibrils composed of microfilaments in the stationary cortex. Using the internal perfusion technique, we confirmed the observation that organelles which had been attached to the fibrils by decreasing the internal concentration of ATP moved along the fibrils after ATP was introduced. Thin-sectioned specimens revealed that endoplasmic organelles of various shapes were linked to microfilament bundles in the absence of ATP. Linkage was effected by regularly arranged electron-dense materials with a spacing of 100–130 nm at definite regions on each organelle. The organelles in question were studied in negatively stained preparations of endoplasm. The organelles had some common features. (1) They were all membrane-limited.(2) Their sizes and configurations varied largely. (3) One or more protuberances were present on them. (4) The protuberances were usually rod- or horn-like. (5) Small globular bodies 20–30 nm in diameter were found in ordered array with the same spacing as those in thin sections at the surface of the protuberances. (6) Many fine filaments were always attached to the surface of the protuberances. These fine filaments differed from F-actin in diameter (less than 4 nm) and inability to react with heavy meromyosin from rabbit skeletal muscle. The role of such components of the organelles in cytoplasmic streaming is discussed. A paracrystalline array of microfilaments with a transverse periodicity of about 38 nm is presented, together with its optical diffraction pattern.
- © 1979 by Company of Biologists