After being collected from a paddy field, the sample was put on 1% agar plate with a drop of distilled water and kept for a few days.
Being covered with small particles, this flagellate looks like a sand aggregate with a long narrow flagellum extending forward. Is the flagellate using the particles as an armor to protect itself against enemy attacks?
Commentary by Prof. Yuji Tsukii, Hosei University This flagellate may be Peranemopsis granulifera in the Euglena group.
The characteristics of Peranemopsis granulifera are a cell surface covered with fine sandy particles and a long flagellum extending forward. Both features can be seen in this video, although the flagellum is not so clear.
After being collected from a paddy field, the sample was put on 1% agar plate with a drop of distilled water and kept in the dark for 4 days.
A flagellate with a long flagellum is slowly moving around among aggregates. If it weren’t moving, we might be fooled into thinking it is just another aggregate, because its whole surface is covered with small particles. Is this appearance designed to disguise itself from enemies?
Commentary by Prof. Yuji Tsukii, Hosei University This organism is Peranemopsis granulifera in the Euglena group. It is characterized by one flagellum and a unique cell surface that is almost wholly covered with sandy particles. The cell of this organism is flexible (similar to Peranema), and when the cell changes shape as it moves around, the sandy particle cover also stretches to adapt to the cell’s flexing.