Ultrastructural details in germinating sporangiospores of Rhizopus stolonifer and Rhizopus arrhizus

Buckley, P.M.; Sommer, N.F.; Matsumoto, T.T.

Journal of Bacteriology 95(6): 2365-2373


Electron microscope examination of sporangiospore sections from Rhizopus stolonifer (Ehrenb. ex Fr.) Lind. and R. arrhizus Fischer revealed details on intracellular organization not previously reported. Aldehyde fixation followed by chromeosmium postfixation permitted clear depiction of ribosomes hitherto unrevealed in these cells. Mitochondria were diversiform. Spore wall structures in the two species were generally similar, but outer contours differed sufficiently to permit easy species identification in examination of sections. The spores of both species abounded in cytosomes, corresponding in size, shape, and heavy-metal "stain" affinities to spherosomes in cells of higher plants. The osmiophilic response of these spherosome-like inclusions was intensified by treatment of sections with thiocarbohydrazide solution and subsequent application of aqueous osmium tetroxide, which strengthens an assumption that they are lipid-rich. The margins of the spherosome-like inclusions in lead citrate-stained sections included dense particles, about 60 A across, whose crystalline-like arrangements suggested that protein as well as lipid was present. Frequent and close associations between the spherosome-like inclusions and various cell membranes suggested that such bodies participate in membrane elaboration during germination.