The karyorelictid ciliate Loxodes striatus has pigment granules which are similar in size, structure and distribution to the pigmentocysts in the heterotrich ciliates, Blepharisma japonicum and Stentor coeruleus, which are known to be extrusomes for chemical defence against predators. We examined whether the pigment granules of L. striatus are also defensive organelles. We showed that: (1) pigment granules of L. striatus are extrusive organelles; (2) bleached cells of L. striatus produced by inducing a massive discharge of pigment granules are more vulnerable than normally pigmented cells to the raptorial ciliate Dileptus margaritifer and the turbellarian Stenostomum sphagnetorum, while they are indistinguishable from intact cells in external morphology and the capacity to grow; (3) the cell-free fluid (CFF) which contains the pigment discharged from pigment granules of L. striatus induced in D. margaritifer behavioural and pathological reactions which are essentially the same as those observed in the interaction with L. striatus, and this effect of the CFF disappeared when the pigment was bleached by light. We conclude that pigment granules of L. striatus are extrusomes for chemical defence against predators, and that the defence is based on the toxic pigment contained in these organelles.

Defence function of pigmentocysts in the karyorelictid ciliate Loxodes striatus

BUONANNO, FEDERICO;
2005

Abstract

The karyorelictid ciliate Loxodes striatus has pigment granules which are similar in size, structure and distribution to the pigmentocysts in the heterotrich ciliates, Blepharisma japonicum and Stentor coeruleus, which are known to be extrusomes for chemical defence against predators. We examined whether the pigment granules of L. striatus are also defensive organelles. We showed that: (1) pigment granules of L. striatus are extrusive organelles; (2) bleached cells of L. striatus produced by inducing a massive discharge of pigment granules are more vulnerable than normally pigmented cells to the raptorial ciliate Dileptus margaritifer and the turbellarian Stenostomum sphagnetorum, while they are indistinguishable from intact cells in external morphology and the capacity to grow; (3) the cell-free fluid (CFF) which contains the pigment discharged from pigment granules of L. striatus induced in D. margaritifer behavioural and pathological reactions which are essentially the same as those observed in the interaction with L. striatus, and this effect of the CFF disappeared when the pigment was bleached by light. We conclude that pigment granules of L. striatus are extrusomes for chemical defence against predators, and that the defence is based on the toxic pigment contained in these organelles.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11393/38365
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