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Research on the cytochemistry of microorganisms


, : Research on the cytochemistry of microorganisms. U S Air Force Tech Doc Rept Amrl-Tdr-63-72: 1-45

As a part of the research program designed to solve the nutritional problems of astronauts during extended explorations of space, the following experiments were conducted. Cell wall substances in the alga, Chlorella pyrenoidosa 71105 and the fungus, Linderina pennispora NRRL 2237 have been identified and localized by means of standard cytochemical techniques. Pectic material in the primary lamella and cellulose in the secondary lamella have been found in the wall of C. pyrenoidosa. The walls of the cells of L. pennispora are chitinous, with no indication of the presence of cellulose at any stage of development. The pectic material in the wall of the alga is in the form of a pectic-protein complex and the chitin in the walls of the fungal cells is in the form of a chitin-protein complex. The wall of C. pyrenoidosa reacts positively to an enzyme mixture of pectinase and cellulase and the walls of L. pennispora react similarly to chitinase. These identifications and reactions to enzymes can be used in the effort to bring about total assimilation of cell wall substances if these algal and fungal cells should be chosen as food materials in meeting the nutritional requirements of the space program.

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