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Food Plaquette Digestion in the Ciliated Protozoan Hyalophysa chattoni
Stephen C. Landers, Rex A. Treadaway, Jason W. Johnson and Rebecca N. Luckie
Vol. 120, No. 2 (Spring, 2001), pp. 97-103
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3227109
Page Count: 7
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The digestion of food plaquettes in the ciliated protozoan Hyalophysa chattoni was analyzed by light and electron microscopy. Through the use of nigrosin as a tracer for light microscopy and polystyrene microparticles for electron microscopy, we have demonstrated that food plaquettes transform to late-stage digestive vesicles. Eventually, in the phoront, some of the late-stage vesicles merge to form larger fusion vesicles, which are retained in the peripheral cytoplasm of the ensuing feeding stage. After the feeding stage settles and encysts, these vesicles are either retained by the daughter cells or are left in the divisional cyst as residual bodies. Food plaquettes, digestive vesicles, and fusion vesicles stain positively with neutral red and acridine orange, indicating an acidic pH. These results portray a unique digestive pathway in which stored, undigested material is reorganized into larger fusion vesicles as the cell prepares for additional feeding.
Invertebrate Biology © 2001 American Microscopical Society