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J Protozool. 1982 May;29(2):226-30.

Kinetic analysis of chemokinesis of Paramecium.


Paramecia detect and accumulate in or disperse from some chemicals. Cells do this by changing frequency of turning and speed of swimming. There are at least two mechanisms by which cells respond: one dependent on ability to turn, one dependent on speed modulation. There are also two classes of chemicals: those that require the cells' ability to turn in order to cause accumulation and dispersal (type I), and those that apparently require only speed modulation (type II). Attractants of type I cause qualitatively similar changes in behavior to repellents of type II and the converse; therefore, assays are needed to distinguish between these two classes of chemicals, despite qualitatively similar behavior of some attractants and repellents. We examined two assays of paramecium chemoresponse, T-maze assay and well test, to understand how the T-maze distinguishes between attractants of type I and repellents of type II and why the well test does not.

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