Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Arts and Science


The question of the existence of true structures, known as mitochondria in the cytoplasm of the cells is one that has engaged the attention of Histologist's and cytologist's for the past fifty years. Many of the granules now designated by this name were described as "Microsomes", by Hanstein (80). La Valette St. George (86) in his investigations called these granules "cytomicrosomes". Hacker ('97) observed in the normal development of several species of Copepods, the presence of a special type of granules which collected at one end of the mitotic spindle during early cleavage division. The term "mitochondria" was first applied by Benda ('98) to the granules in sperm forming cells.

Lewis and Lewis (1914) studied mitochondria in tissue cultures and noted their variation in quantity, shape, and position, and their response to osmotic pressure and to chemical reagents. Experiments on the physical properties of mitochondria were made by Cowdry (1918) in which he found mitochondria soluble in alcohol, ether, and dilute acetic acid. More recently, King and Beams (1934) have ventured to settle the question of the true existence of mitochondria and their physical properties by showing the movement of the same due to ultra-centrifuging.

Harvey (32, '33) found what she interprets as Mitochondria composing the heaviest layer of the centrifuged eggs of certain sea Urchins. Von J. E. Kamner (1934) found that in hypotonic solutions the chondriosomes swell and disintegrate into grains, which collect over the nucleus. In hypertonic solutions they on contrary take on a fine thread shape.

Since identified as specific type of granules that occur in almost every cell, they have been brought into special prominence in recent years through the researches of Benda, Meves, Duesberg, Reguad, Guilliermond and ethers, who have ascribed to them an important role in histogenesis and heredity.

It is with the hope of contributing to our present knowledge of the physical nature of the mitochondria, particularly the effects of electric currents upon them in relation to other components of somatic cells, that we offer our results.

Committee Chair/Advisor

T. P. Dooley


Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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