DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph showing fusion of a pair of protoplasts from 2 leaf cells of the tobacco plant, Nicotiana tabacum. A proto- plast is an intact cell which has been chemically treated to remove the tough outer cellulose wall, leaving only the delicate plasma membrane binding the cell contents together. Chemical stimulation causes the wall to regrow. Protoplast technology has enabled two types of genetic experimentation: nuclear fusion (seen here), where the cytoplasm & nuclei of 2 cells are chemically encouraged to fuse, & DNA microinjection, where selected genes are injected directly into a cell. Magnification: x300 at 35mm size, x500 at 6x4.5cm size.
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