Cell cycle and behaviour in Euplotes crassus: an attempt at describing the biological relationship between its cellular and organismic natures


Corresponding author rbanchetti@deee.unipi.it


The two-faced nature of protozoa allowed us to study the relationship between cell cycle and behaviour in Euplotes crassus; the former represents one of the most typical cellular traits, the latter is one of the most significant characteristics of an organism. Dividing cells of E. crassus were isolated on a slide and recorded for 11 h: the classic ethographic parameters were calculated every 60 min. The percentage of mobile cells went from 0–100% in the first 2.5 h. This value was maintained for 6.5 h, but from 9 h the value began to drop, reaching 0% at 11 h. The relative frequency of leftward arcs was very high in the first hour, the radius and length of the arcs increased from 1–7 h; velocity showed a similar trend, peaking at 7 h. All our results showed that the behaviour of this ciliate is heavily affected by its cell-division cycle.