I'm hopeful that you can pass the following note on to someone with
expertise in the area of peritrich life cycles.
I'm an independent producer of educational material in biology and
shooter of ciliate behavior whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Yesterday I had a field collection of Vorticellids (V.monilata or
close relative) go into an orgy of conjugation. At any given time
about one third of the individuals were conjugating, with the eventual
absorption of the "male" cytoplasm, leaving a spiky little husk.
Today, I find almost no conjugants and there are fast swimming
teletrochs galore just beneath the surface. The question is--could
these teletrochs have develop directly from the fused cells? The
transformation could have happened last night when no one was
Any insights on what might trigger the sudden outburst of conjugation
and the related development of teletroch stages would be sincerely
Bruce J. Russell
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