DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a protoplast of the moss Physcomitrella patens. A protoplast is an intact cell which has been chem- ically treated to remove the outer cellulose wall, leaving only the delicate plasma membrane binding the cell contents together. Here, the cell wall is regrowing (yellow fibres) after 4 hours in a nutrient medium. Protoplast technology has enabled 2 types of genetic experimentation: nuclear fusion - where the cytoplasm & nuclei of 2 cells are encouraged to fuse - & DNA microinjection - where genes are injected directly into a cell. Regrowth of the cell wall is essential to this. Magnificat- ion: x725 at 35mm size, x1200 at 6x6cm size. Full colour version: green & yellow.
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