Urocentrum turbo

During the freshwater sample surveys with the students in a local pond I found this special creature. During winter months most of the waterbodies in nearby areas become full of rotting hydrophytes and have different species of ciliates. When I was observing some species of Ciliates and Desmids in the sample, I found this species. It is a little ciliate that spins on its axis and swims rapidly. It also has a tail on the back, by that it holds itself in the substrate. After seeing its characteristic features, I consider it as Urocentrum turbo.

I request @ Manu Sir , @ Laks Sir and all other experts to validate the identification.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Wow @Raju. You are on a roll in 2019! That is a definite urocentrum turbo. Moreover, you can clearly see the strong ciliary flows that cause it to rotate. I image a lot of ciliates – and this is a very strong flow. Moreover; the flow must have chirality for it to twist so fast (ciliary array arranged at a slight angle would do the same). Let’s reconstruct the flow field around it – we released a simple tool for the same a few years ago – see http://www.wgilpin.com/flowtrace_docs/

    It has an imageJ plugin as well – so it’s simple to use. I would predict a slight chirality in the same; similar to vachuria flows I made long time ago: see image at the very end of the video – https://gfm.aps.org/meetings/dfd-2014/5416731e69702d585c750100

    Finally, here is a puzzle I am very excited about. If it spins and spins and spins in the same direction – at some point the tether attached to the surface should have generated so much twist that it will break. Do you see that? Also, what does the movement look like when the tether is not attached.

    Only one way to find out, collect some more.

    Also, I am hoping you are carefully marking the exact location of your collections; and labeling them (I enabled a geo-tag feature on the microcosmos site now); this way we will have the map of distribution. See video on how to geotag: https://www.foldscope.com/tutorials/

    You are blowing our minds Raju, keep going!


  2. laksiyer says:

    @Raju. This is truly incredible. This is indeed Urocentrum turbo. In my explorations, I have seen it only once in a pond water sample that I had left aside for over 2 months and that was stinking dur to a rot. I still remember deciding to see if I could culture it on plates and it completely disappeared when exposed to air. I wonder if there is an anoxic environment created during winters that allow these to flourish. It would also be good if we can measure dissolved oxygen in these samples and correlate with species. Fantastic work.

  3. Manu Prakash says:

    @laks: love the suggestion for measuring oxygen level on a regular basis. Do you know of a colormetric due; with a reactive readout with oxygen.
    In several of my high density cultures – I see motility slow down in a few minutes and I always attribute itself to reduction in dissolved oxygen – so it would be fantastic to have a real time indicator for the same.

    This belongs in the category of identifying home brew stains.. but also sensing dyes. Will dig up some papers soon.


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