Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Amoeba proteus contains a central elongated fluid portion (plasmasol), a rigid layer surrounding this (plasmagel), a thin elastic surface layer (plasmalemma), and a hyaline layer between the plasmagel and the plasmalemma which is fluid at the tip of active pseudopods and in certain other regions.The plasmasol is an emulsion. It consists of a fluid in which various vacuoles and granuoles are suspended. The plasmagel is probably alveolar in structure. It contains the same kinds of substances as the plasmasol, but some of the fluid appears to be gelated so as to form alveoli. The plasmalemma probably consists of interwoven protein fibers and a lipoid which fills the interstices.The plasmasol is probably hypertonic; the plasmagel and the plasmalemma are probably semipermeable. This and other factors result in an excess inflow of water, stretching the plasmagel and the plasmalemma. When a pseudopod is formed, the inner portion of the plasmagel liquefies locally. This produces a local decrease in elastic strength resulting in the formation of a protuberance, a pseudopod. As this is formed there is contraction at the posterior end, resulting in forward flow of the plasmasol and extension of the pseudopod.If the pseudopod is attached, the plasmalemma, being attached to the substratum and to the adjoining plasmagel, slides over the plasmagel above and remains stationary below, rolling movement results. If it is free, the plasmalemma is stretched out with movement in it equal on all sides. If the free pseudopods become attached to the substratum at the tip after they are thus formed, walking movement results.During locomotion of either type, the plasmasol continuously gelates at the tip of the extending pseudopods forming plasmagel, and the plasmagel continuously solates at the posterior end forming plasmasol.Response is due largely to changes in the elastic strength of the plasmagel in the adhesiveness of the plasmalemma and in turgidity.Locomotion in Amoeba verrucosa is in principle the same as it is in Amoeba proteus.
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