Paramylon storage granules from Euglena gracilis were characterized by electron diffraction techniques using electrons of various accelerating voltages: 2 MV for the thick granules and 100 kV for the thinner ones. Intact granules gave well resolved, characteristic (1→3)‐β‐d glucan fibre diffraction diagrams with the glucan molecular orientation parallel to the longer axis of the granule. Hydrated electron diffraction patterns with better resolution were obtained from thinner granules by examination at low temperatures of quench‐frozen specimens. In this case, the pattern indexed on an hexagonal system with a = b= 1·55 + 0·01 nm and c (fibre axis) = 1·86 ± 0·01 nm. Sections of embedded granules provided single crystal‐like electron diffraction patterns corresponding to various sections of the reciprocal lattice of (1→3)‐β‐d glucan (including the hko section). Finally, by scanning electron microscopy, it was shown that the granules swell on contact with water and take up a characteristic ribbed, pumpkin‐like shape.
Journal of Microscopy – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1981
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