Summary: X-ray microanalysis of thin cryosections of the cyanobacterium showed that aluminium was rapidly taken up and accumulated into polyphosphate granules. In addition, aluminium was found in the cell walls but could not be detected in the cytoplasm. The concentration of phosphorus in the medium affected the accumulation pattern; more aluminium was bound in the polyphosphate granules and in the cell walls after growth in phosphorus-rich medium. The accumulation of aluminium in these structures may function as a detoxification mechanism. Treatment with aluminium for 24 h did not cause any significant changes in the elemental composition of polyphosphate granules or cell walls.


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