NIZEMI (slow rotating centrifuge microscope)
Velocity of movement
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Motility and orientation has been studied in the unicellular photosynthetic flagellate, Euglena gracilis, using real time image analysis capable of tracking up to 200 cells simultaneously in the slow rotating centrifuge microscope (NIZEMI) which allows one to observe the cells' swimming behavior during centrifugation accelerations between 1 g and 5 g. At 1 g the cells show a weak negative gravitaxis, which increases significantly at higher accelerations up to about 3 g. Though most cells were capable of swimming even against an acceleration of 4.5 g, the degree of gravitaxis decreased and some of the cells were passively moved downward by the acceleration force; this is true for most cells at 5 g. The velocity of cells swimming against 1 g is about 10% lower than that of cells swimming in other directions. The velocity decreases even more drastically in cells swimming against higher acceleration forces than those at 1 g. The degree of gravitactic orientation drastically decreases after short exposure to artificial UV radiation which indicates that gravitaxis may be due to an active physiological perception rather than a physical effect such as an asymmetry of the center of gravity within the cell.
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