Tetrahymena oral apparatus


I prepared a slide with a PVC microwell sticker & a droplet of water containing Tetrahymena. This video looks at one well in particular, in which a large air bubble pressed a small water droplet to one side, condensing it into a crescent moon shape. The Tetrahymena within the water seem eager to escape.

In the video above, you’ll see several squeezed under the sticker and essentially immobilized. In this state, I noticed a flurry of cilia on each one. I knew the organisms are covered in cilia, but these small areas appeared particularly dense, so I suspected it was their oral apparatuses. Yet, I was not as confident in this until your most recent post, Laks! Thanks for the inspiration. (Linked below)

Later in the video, I pan upward along the crescent where you can see more Tetrahymena swimming about and seemingly trying to pry underneath the sticker. Initially, I thought the ones fixed under the sticker leaked there as I was preparing the slide. But after seeing the other ones who are half underneath or seemingly trying to budge in, I was not sure! I found this interesting.

Imaging Tetrahymena thermophila cilia

Until next time,

2 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Fantastic @Rebecca. This is like a stable of Tetrahymenas. Love the oral apparatuses lined up, as though waiting for an assembly line of food. Some of these organizations might be dependent on where a water surface emerges causing surface tension. There might also be a role for oxygen in this.

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