SUMMARY: The rickettsia pathogenic to the saturnid moth mainly attacks mid-gut cells and multiplies in the cytoplasm. It is pleomorphic with a mean size of 1.50 μ × 0.70 μ as measured on micrographs of negatively stained preparations of purified organisms. The limiting membrane consists of two zones, the outer being about 20 mμ thick and slightly rippled and the inner a finely granular layer about 30 mμ thick. Actively growing organisms have a fairly dense granular cytoplasm with only few and small osmiophilic bodies; on their surfaces there are usually many small evaginations of the limiting membrane which measure up to 200 mμ long, have a basal diameter of about 20 mμ and often extend into the host cytoplasm. When the wall evaginations are absent the cytoplasm is less dense and osmiophilic bodies are up to 120 mμ in diameter. Some rickettsias, lying in the lumen of tracheae, have no osmiophilic bodies and very degenerate wall evaginations.


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