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Isolation and Enzymic Characterization of Euglena Proplastids

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Organelles were isolated from dark-grown Euglena gracilis Klebs by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Plastids, identified by triosephosphate isomerase and NADP glyoxylate reductase were present at an equilibrium density of 1.24 grams per cubic centimeter clearly separated from mitochondria at an equilibrium density of 1.22 grams per cubic centimeter. Assay for choline phosphotransferase and glucose-6-phosphatase showed that endoplasmic reticulum membranes were present at a density of 1.12 grams per cubic centimeter. The plastid fraction contained phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, triosephosphate isomerase and aldolase indicating the operation of a glycolytic pathway. During regreening pyruvate kinase and phosphofructokinase in the developing proplastid decreased, neither enzyme being present in the mature chloroplast. However, plastids were present in the photosynthetic cell as shown by a peak of glycolysis enzymes at an equilibrium density of 1.24 grams per cubic centimeter.

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