Blue-Green Algae: Fine Structure of the Gas Vacuoles

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Science  19 Mar 1965:
Vol. 147, Issue 3664, pp. 1460-1462
DOI: 10.1126/science.147.3664.1460


The gas vacuoles seen in several species of blue-green algae under the light microscope are shown by electron microscopy to correspond to packed arrays of cylindrical, electron-transparent vesicles. Single vesicles average 75 millimicrons in diameter, range from 0.2 micron to 1.0 micron in length, have conical ends, and are bounded by a single membrane 2 millimicrons wide. The reversible disappearance of gas vacuoles induced by sudden application of pressure is accompanied by a reversible collapse of the individual gas vesicles.