Adhesion partitioning is a method for progressively dismantling small biological entities for observation of their internal structures. The method is particularly well suited to use with the electron microscope. Objects to be partitioned are air-dried between two preformed plastic films resulting in envelopment of the objects. On separating the films the objects are partitioned. Partitioned E. coli bacteria reveal a variety of structures which change markedly with culture age. Organisms from young cultures have a water-retaining gelatinous matrix in which radially striated discs, fabric-like structures, and microsomes are found. Older cultures are less anatomically complex. The T2 bacteriophage is shown to be composed of an outer limiting membrane and a cohesive semisolid fibrillar body substance, presumably nucleic acid, which can be drawn as a strand from the bacteriophage body.

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