Games we play: Tetrahymena vs Chlamydomonas. Part 3 of series

  • Lakshminarayan Iyer

Also see [Part1] and [Part2]

I am sure most of you have seen youtube videos titled tiger vs lion, mongoose vs snake, buffalo vs lion and so on. Many of these are real clips and a great number of them are from video games!! So I similarly just wanted to have my own fun. A colleague had give me some Chlamydomonas reinhardtii culture. These are small chlorophytes about 20 microns in size. I wondered what would happen if I mixed Tetrahymena vorax and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, as they often interact in the ponds in which they co-habit.  Here are three videos from this experiment

In the first you can see a mis-shaped ciliate, perhaps completely satiated with eating several cholorophytes.

2. In the second video, the macrostome form of Tetrahymena vorax  is seen swallowing Chlamydomonads that either escape or are swallowed. You can also see that it has ingested other Tetrahymena vorax ciliates

3. In this a T. vorax macrostome form is in the process of division. You can see that it has a chlorophyte in one of its vacuole.

Clearly T. vorax can eat Chlamydomonas. In such a circumstance what might happen to the ratios of the different forms of the ciliate? But that is for another day.


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