Portrait of left (ventral) surface of Plagiopyla nasuta (Stein, 1860), a sapropelic plagiopylid ciliate. The body is reniform. Distinctive vestibular region appears as a transverse ciliated furrow leading to a tubular oral cavity (seen well here). The somatic ciliature is dense and uniform. On the right (dorsal) surface a distinctive transversely striated pellicular channel bows anteriorly from the peristome then turns posteriorly (not seen in this left view). Single ovoid macronucleus lies just posterior to the vestibular area (seen here overlaid by a food vacuole). Single posterior contractile vacuole (not seen here). Plagiopyla is amitochondriate, instead possessing cytoplasmic hydrogenosomes in close association with endosymbiotic methanogenic bacteria. From bottom sediment of organically enriched standing freshwater near Boise, Idaho. DIC optics. This image was taken by William Bourland. He now uses a Zeiss Axioskop 2 with Spot Insight and Spot Flex CCD cameras (Diagnostic Instruments). Image copyright: William Bourland, image used under license to MBL (micro*scope).
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From the collection
Freshwater and Terrestrial Microbes of Idaho (USA) and Elsewhere
|Description of Plagiopyla nasuta: Cells are 3.5 to 6 microns long and flattened. The cells are flexible with a bulbous motile snout. The snout, which contains a mouth, beats slowly. The anterior flagellum lies alongside the snout and is hard to see, and the trailing flagellum is about 2 to 2.7 times the cell length, and is acronematic. The cells consume attached bacteria. The cells move by gliding. Commonly observed. |