1. The heavy, light and fluffy mitochondrial fractions obtained by differential centrifugation were further characterized with respect to their protein synthesizing ability in vitro, their nucleic acid content, buoyant density of their DNA and ultrastructure. 2. The light mitochondrial fraction synthesized proteins in vitro at a rate 4–5 times as high as heavy and fluffy mitochondria. The incorporation ability of this fraction was also maximally affected by the thyroid status of the animal. The radioactivity in leucyl-tRNA of the light mitochondrial fraction was about 3–4 times as high as that of the other two fractions. 3. The heavy, light and fluffy mitochondrial fractions contained small but consistent amounts of RNA and DNA. Although the DNA content was the same in all mitochondria fractions, the light mitochondria contained relatively more RNA. The buoyant density of DNA from all the fractions was 1.701g/cm3. 4. Electron microscopy revealed that the heavy mitochondria have a typical mitochondrial architecture, with densely packed cristae and a well developed double membrane. Light mitochondria were also surrounded by double membranes, but were smaller in size and contained less cristae. The fluffy fraction consisted of a mixture of well formed mitochondria and those in the process of degradation. 5. The significance of these findings in relation to mammalian mitochondrial genesis is discussed.

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