1. Cells of Euglena gracilis grown in the dark on high ratios of carbon source to nitrogen source (‘high-carbon cells’) are unable to form chlorophyll during a subsequent incubation in the light; cells grown in the dark on low ratios of carbon to nitrogen (‘low-carbon cells’) synthesize chlorophyll at a rapid rate during the subsequent incubation in the light. High-carbon cells will form chlorophyll rapidly if supplied with a nitrogen source during the incubation in the light: of the nitrogen sources tested, ammonium sulphate was the most effective at overcoming the block in chlorophyll synthesis. The nitrogen source does not have to be present during the actual incubation in the light: a 5hr. exposure of high-carbon cells to ammonium sulphate in the dark, followed by removal of the nitrogen source, is sufficient to bring about rapid chlorophyll synthesis during a subsequent incubation in the light. 2. The synthesis of chlorophyll by low-carbon cells exposed to the light is strongly repressed by the addition of ethanol or other utilizable carbon sources during the incubation in the light. Chlorophyll synthesis ceases altogether between 5 and 10hr. after the addition of the carbon source. Carotenoid synthesis is also inhibited, but to a smaller extent. The inhibitory effects of ethanol are prevented if ammonium sulphate is added at the same time. 3. High-carbon cells contain about four times as much carbohydrate per cell and about twice as much lipid per cell as low-carbon cells. The content per cell of total protein, soluble protein and DNA are about the same in both types of cell. The low-carbon cells sometimes, but not always, contain more RNA than the high-carbon cells. Analysis of cold-acid extracts indicates that the two kinds of cells contain about the same concentrations of pool amino acids, but that the low-carbon cells contain somewhat higher concentrations of peptides in the pool. Ion-exchange analysis of pool extracts shows a number of differences between high-carbon and low-carbon cells with respect to the concentrations of individual amino acids: in particular low-carbon cells contain higher concentrations of alanine. High-carbon cells have approximately twice as much protease activity as low-carbon cells. 4. The possible biochemical basis for the differing ability of high-carbon and low-carbon cells to form chloroplasts in the light is discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.