DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of marine phytoplankton cryptomonad (Rhodomonas salina). The cryptomonads are a small group of flagellates, most of which have chloroplasts. They occur in marine and brackish water, as well fresh water. Cells are ovoid and flattened in shape with an anterior groove. At the edge of the goove there are two slightly unequal flagella used for locomotion. Cryptomonads are distinguished by the presence of specialized extrusomes called ejectisomes (not shown), which consist of two connected spiral ribbons that are held under tension. If the cells are disturbed either by mechanical, chemical or light, they discharge the ejectisome, propelling the cell in a zigzag course away from the disturbance. Magnification: x1,200 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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