Protoplast showing cellulose microfibrils

Protoplast showing cellulose microfibrils

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Credit: DR.JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph of the surface of a tobacco leaf protoplast, Nicotiana tabacum, showing cellulose microfibrils regrowing over the plasma membrane. A protoplast is a single intact cell, chemically treated to break down the outer cellulose wall, leaving only the plasma membrane binding & protecting the plant cell. The cellulose can be chemically encouraged to regrow, as here. Fibrous at first, the surface becomes smooth as more cellulose is laid down. Protoplast technology has enabled experimentation such as nuclear fusion & DNA microinjection, both techniques of genetic engineering. Magnification: X 3075 at 35mm size, X 24,000 at 8x10-inch size.

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Keywords: botanical science, botany, cell wall, cells, cellulose, plant structure, plasma membrane, protoplast, scanning electron micrograph, sem

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