Morphology of Membranes

  • Roger Harrison
  • George G. Lunt
Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (TLB)


Early electron micrographs suggested that all membranes have the same basic structure. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, J. D. Robertson proposed his unit membrane theory of membrane structure. He suggested that all membranes, whether from plants, animals or micro-organisms have a common structural pattern based on a bimolecular lipid layer with protein associated with the two faces; the pattern, in fact proposed by Danielli and Dayson (see chapter 6). Robertson’s theory was based on electron-microscope studies of myelin, though in later work he examined a wide variety of membranes and found that they all appeared to have the same structure as myelin.


Thylakoid Membrane Nuclear Envelope Outer Segment Synaptic Cleft Presynaptic Membrane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Daemen, F. J. M. (1973) ‘Vertebrate rod outer segment membranes’ Biochim. Biophys. Acta (Reviews on Biomembranes), 300, 255–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. De Robertis, E. D. P., Saez, F. A. and De Robertis, E. M. F. (1975) Cell Biology, 7th ed. (Chapters 7–11 ), W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  3. Harris, J. R. (1979) ‘The biochemistry and ultrastructure of the nuclear envelope’ Biochim. Biophys. Acta (Reviews on Biomembranes), 515, 56–103.Google Scholar
  4. Matus, A. (1978) ‘Synaptic membranes and junctions from brain’ in Methods in Membrane Biology, vol. 9 (ed. E. D. Korn ), Plenum Press, New York and London, 203–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Munn, E. A. (1974) The Structure of Mitochondria, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  6. Novikoff, A. B. and Holtzman, E. (1976) Cells and Organelles, 2nd ed., Holt, Rinehart and Winston, London and New York.Google Scholar
  7. Staehelin, L. A. (1976) ‘Reversible particle movements associated with unstacking and restacking of chloroplast membranes in vitro‘ J. Cell. Biol., 71, 136–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Staehelin, L. A. and Hull, B. A. (1978) ‘Junctions between living cells’ Scientific American, 238, 141–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© R. Harrison, G. G. Lunt 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Harrison
    • 1
  • George G. Lunt
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BathUK

Personalised recommendations