The roles of somatic and oral cilia and solid particles during digestive vacuole (DV) formation in Paramecium multimicronucleatum were investigated using video-enhanced and immunofluorescence microscopy. Membrane incorporation into DVs was found to increase linearly with increasing particle concentration. The rate of discoidal vesicle transport to the cytopharynx was not affected by particles, showing that particles are not required for membrane trafficking to the cytopharynx. However, the presence of particles leads to an increased membrane fusion between the cytopharyngeal membrane and the discoidal vesicles. When live cells lost their somatic cilia on the left-ventral side anterior to the oral region due to deciliation, membrane incorporation into newly formed DVs was strongly inhibited. Using video-enhanced microscopy, latex beads were seen to be loaded along the quadrulus on the dorsal surface of the buccal cavity, but few beads were seen next to the dorsal and ventral peniculi. Particle sequestration into a pre-formed nascent digestive vacuole (NDV) was studied in Triton X-100-permeabilized cells whose ciliary beating was reactivated by the addition of Mg-ATP. Both beat frequency and the percentage of cells containing bead-labeled NDV were dependent on the Mg-ATP concentration: the higher the beat frequency, the higher the percentage of cells with a bead-labeled NDV. These results suggest that ciliary beating is probably the only mechanism required for particle accumulation in the NDV, while a coordinated beating of the somatic cilia on the left-ventral side anterior to the oral region as well as the quadrulus moves particles into the NDV. The beating of the peniculi may somehow prevent the backward flow of particles out of the NDV.
The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Vol. 48 • No. 6
Vol. 48 • No. 6
phagosome surface area