29641C

29641C
Caption: Heterotrophic dinoflagellate Protoperidinum sp. Protoperidinum species are thecate (armored), marine planktonic, heterotrophic (nonphotosynthetic) dinoflagellate. Shown here is the antapical view of a Protoperidinium species (likely Protoperidinum excentricum. The armored theca (surrounding the cell; made of cellulose) is well developed. Unlike photosynthetic dinoflagellates (true algae), heterotrophic dinoflagellates (protists; protozoa) feed directly on diatoms, other dinoflagellates, prasinophytes and ciliates. Protoperidinium is a pallium feeder dinoflagellate that engulfs (ingests) its prey with a pseudopod (pallium). Prey cells are captured individually using a thin filament and are then surrounded by a membrane (the pallium) and digested completely outside the theca. There are over 40 species of Protoperidinium that are distributed worldwide in both cold and temperate seawater. Dinoflagellates have two flagella (not visible) that arise from two groves (sulcus and cingulum) organized in the thecal plates. One flagellum beats back and forth, while the other is flat and ribbon-like (called an undulating flagellum), and works as a rudder to steer and rotate the organism.
Magnification*: x345
Type: SEM
Copyright 2010 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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