Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The flagellate, Tetramitus rostratus Perty, appeared in cultures of certain amoebae obtained from the coecum of rats. In a typical life-cycle a cyst, planted in an appropriate medium, gives rise to an amoeba which may divide a number of times, but eventually some of the amoebae transform into flagellates identical with Tetramitus rostratus. These divide frequently through several days, sometimes for weeks or months, and then transform back to amoebae which become encysted.During excystment the smooth cyst wall dissolves. Usually both the amoeboid and flagellate phases pass into a “gel” state during division. A “gel” state sometimes occurs during transformation. The time required for transformations varies from a few minutes to several hours.Many culture media and methods have been tested. In certain cultures the flagellate phase was prolonged for weeks or months. These cultures were characterized by: 1) great variation in size, from minute “dwarfs” to oversized “monsters”; 2) frequent multiple fission; 3) pairing and fusion, and, 4) some evidence for the origin of secondary nuclei from chromidia. In cases of pairing and fusion, the process of maturation and union of nuclei could not be definitely proved, although suggested by the observations.The flagellate phase is more probably the “adult” phase because of its complex organization and possible sexual phenomena. This case is considered an extreme for this type amoeba-flagellate transformation.
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