SUMMARY: The fine structure of the spore sheaths of some Streptomyces species was studied by carbon replication of intact and freeze-etched specimens and by negative staining. Young vegetative hyphae lacked a sheath but developed one before the onset of sporing. Substructures were observed on all sheath material; these differed between species and in sporogenous hyphae at different stages of development. Four components were recognized: hollow or grooved elements; amorphous material; fine fibrillar elements; and subunits of spines and hairs. The interrelationships of the components and the possible roles of the sheath were discussed.


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