Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The Leptodiscinae, a group of marine Dinoflagellates, are good material for the study of contraction though they cannot be collected in abundance. Their cell bodies are flattened anteroposteriorly (Leptodiscus, Leptophyllus, and Leptospathium) and are able to contract suddenly when the surrounding water is disturbed.Electron microscopical observations have shown that the structures responsible for the contraction consist of a layer of parallel filaments located beneath the cell membrane of some specialized parts of the body. These filaments seem to be nonactin (NAF) because of their diameter (2.5-3 nm) and because they are not decorated by heavy meromyosin (HMM). They appear helically coiled and doubly twisted, and form tubular structures when contracted.
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