DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Light micrograph of protoplasts from a tobacco leaf, Nicotiana plumbaginifolia, showing two different cell types, epidermal (colourless) & mesophyll (green). A protoplast is a single intact cell, which has been chemically treated to remove the tough outer cellulose wall, leaving only the delicate plasma membrane binding the cell contents into a whole. The cell wall can later be regrown. The epidermal cells, a layer at the surface, protect the leaf from external damage. The mesophyll, a layer beneath, contain numerous chloroplasts, sites of photosynthesis. Protoplast cells, being easier to manipulate, are used in plant genetic experimentation. Mag: X125 (35mm).
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