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Relative Distribution of the Mitochondria in the Two Types of Fibres in the Pectoralis Major-Muscle of the Pigeon


IT has been noted that the pectoralis major muscle of the pigeon consists of two types of fibres, one of them a white, broad and glycogen-loaded variety, and the other red, narrow and fat-loaded1, and that the lipase activity is much greater in the latter than in the former2. Recent studies conducted in our laboratories3,4 suggest the presence of a well-organized fatty acid oxidation system in the breast muscle of flying birds. Since the mitochondria are known to be the seat of oxidative processes, it was thought desirable to study the relative distribution of the mitochondria in the two types of fibres in the pectoralis major muscle of the pigeon.

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  1. 1

    George, J. C., and Naik, R. M., Nature, [181, 709 (1958)].

  2. 2

    George, J. C., and Scaria, K. S., Nature (see following communication).

  3. 3

    Jyoti, D., Ph.D. thesis, Baroda University, India (1956).

  4. 4

    George, J. C., and Scaria, K. C., J. Anim. Morph. Physiol., 3, 91 (1956).

  5. 5

    Gray, P., “Microscopist's Formulary and Guide” (Blakiston, New York, 1957).

  6. 6

    Chappell, J. B., and Perry, S. V., Biochem. J., 55, 586 (1953).

  7. 7

    Paul, M. H., and Sterling, E., cited by Perry in Physiol. Rev., 36, 1 (1956).

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