Croc the Ciliate and the Little Green Heart
a Microbial Fairy Tale
by Wim van Egmond, the Netherlands

What is this Adoral Zone of Membranelles (AZM)?


Ciliates are microscopic but that doesn't mean that they are simple. They have one cell but inside that cell they have many special features. Their hairlike cilia are also often modified to perform better. When they are fused to form a sheet it is called a membranelle. Adoral means 'near the mouth'. The adoral zone of membranelles is an area near the mouth with many rows of membranelles. It uses these to sweep food towards the mouth opening. The actual cell mouth is called the Cytostome.

This portait is of Euplotes, a hypotrich ciliate. The Adoral zone of membranelles is visible on the top left side of the organisms. It has fused cilia (cirri) for walking.

Find out more about Ciliates in the Smallest Page on the Web.


Comments to the author Wim van Egmond are welcomed.

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Published in August 2006 Micscape Magazine.

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