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A ciliate that looks like a hedgehog

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.

The whole body of this ciliate is covered with short, stiff cilia. Compared to the cilia covering the soft body of a Paramecium, these needle-like cilia are probably for defending itself rather than for locomotion .

Commentary by Prof. Yuji Tsukii, Hosei University
This ciliate moves actively in the first half but stands still in the latter half of this video. When it is standing still, we can see that the cell surface is covered with cilia and that the cell length is about 100μm. From these features, the organism is probably Pleuronema marinum.

Pleuronema is characterized by a curtain-like structure called a velum that is composed of long cilia arranged in a line around the cytostome (mouth). This structure is difficult to find in this video, probably because the cell is in a narrow space surrounded by aggregates.

Alternatively, this organism might be a ciliate called Histiobalantium natans.

Histiobalantium natans is smaller than Pleuronema marinum but has a similar appearance. It does not have a velum structure but instead has two types of cilia of different lengths. The longer cilia are about twice as long as the shorter cilia, and they are mixed on the cell surface.

Since we cannot see this mixture of cilia with different lengths in this video, the organism cannot be identified.

Sampling Date : 16 October 2006

Sampling Site : KASHIMADAI paddy field  Google Map

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