Scanning Electron Microscope Observations on Some Life History Stages of Carchesium polypinum (Ciliata, Peritrichia)

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SYNOPSIS. Sessile zooids, and mobile telotrochs and microgamonts of Carchesium polypinum (Protozoa, Ciliata, Peritrichia), were examined by scanning electron microscopy. The results were compared to earlier light and electron microscope studies in order to investigate structural changes concerned with adaptation and differentiation. Telotrochs and microgamonts always had a contracted peristome and usually had a long phalange of cilia. Striae around the contracted buccal apparatus in all 3 stages were convoluted and often had thickened margins; those in telotrochs and microgamonts had oral‐aboral ectoplasmic cross‐connections. Nonbuccal striae of telotrochs and microgamonts varied in structure and height differences between epiplasmic peaks and alveoli surface membranes. The number of striae were constant in all 3 stages. Pellicular pore structure did not vary in any of the stages examined and resembled parasomal sacs located near buccal structures. Fully relaxed sessile zooids had ectoplasmic ridges coursing from polykinety kinetosomes and cilia to an area in front of the ciliated portion of the haplokinety; these ridges were interpreted to be the interkinetal fibers. Telotroch bands of sessile zooids consisted of 2 or 3 parallel ectoplasmic ridges which circled the aboral region and contained structures resembling pores. Telotroch bands in telotrochs and microgamonts had 2 enlarged, parallel ectoplasmic ridges circling the aboral region; telotroch band cilia were found between these ridges. In addition, a fold‐like, ectoplasmic structure extended beyond the 2 ridges and was located between the telotroch band cilia and the aboral ridge. The epiplasmic shelf surrounding the stalk in sessile zooids was enlarged in telotrochs, and cilia were seen in the scopula depression. No scopula organelle was seen in any microgamont.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-328
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Protozoology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1971

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology


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