GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light microscope footage of Trichodina pediculus, a peritrich ciliate living epizoic on a wide range of hosts. The clip shows the frontal view of a single Trichodina cell with the complicated holdfast consisting of three ciliary wreaths and an adhesive disc. The disc is concave, consisting of a denticle ring with about 25-35, usually 30 denticles, surrounded by a narrowly spaced radial pins. With this specialized holdfast apparatus the ciliates generate negative pressure to stay attached to the host. This ciliate shows one more wreath inside the denticle wreath. A binary fission occurred shortly before, the inner wreath consists of parental denticles, being resorbed shortly. In this sample the ciliate stays attached to the lower side of the coverglass. Trichodina ciliates mainly feed on bacteria, with the oral apparatus on the anterior side of the cell. Trichodina pediculus and many other trichodinids parasitize the skin and gills of freshwater fish. Healthy hosts normally bear only a few parasites, whereas stressed fish often are heavily infested. Microscopic contrast method used: differential interference contrast. Captured field width: 0.17 mm.
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