By Harris, Robert John Cecil

ISBN-10: 1483230740

ISBN-13: 9781483230740

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Two extremely large and two extremely small species were chosen for comparative studies since their nuclear configurations are quite different. In addition, a graded series of strains and species was selected. They are all virtually of the same size when bacterially fed. All of these strains have, in common, a beaded macronucleus arranged in a vertical chain. The different strains show a progressive increase in the average number of beads in the macronuclear chain with overlapping of the number of beads in individual organisms of the various strains and species.

Of greater importance is the fact that once the cannibals have been produced, they have an altered physiology. The most outstanding nuclear changes in giant formation involve the addition of Feulgen-positive material to the macronucleus and the increase in both number and size of the micronuclei. The role of the micronuclei in the giant is enigmatical. There is no rationale as to why there should be any increase in the number of micronuclei or an increase in the amount of their Feulgen staining.

Indeed, the striking peculiarity in ciliates is the presence of a micronucleus and its complex mechanism for producing a new macronucleus; peculiar, since conjugation with exchange of any nuclear material, theoretically, might suffice for variation and continued stability. There is little evidence that variability is a particular function of micronuclear exchange [17]. However, this introduction is not intended to focus attention on the micronucleus, but rather on the macronucleus. Unfortunately, although there has been much conjecture, there is actually very little, as yet, known about the organization of the macronucleus [17].

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Cell growth and cell division by Harris, Robert John Cecil

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