The vorticella is a genus of various single cell eukaryotic organisms, that are also called protozoa. The genus vorticella, contains more than 16 known species of the living organisms. Vorticella are inverted bell shaped microorganisms. It is also the reason why they are called peritrichs. On the other hand, they are grouped as ciliates. Ciliates are the organisms that have tiny hair-like structure on their body.
Vorticella are commonly found near freshwater bodies like ponds, lakes and streams. They are also found on the surface of various submerged substrates, detritus and on the body of various aquatic plants, crustaceans and shellfishes as well. However, vorticella are mainly found near any region that has a vorticella friendly atmosphere with all the required food and substrate. These tiny living organisms are pretty interesting and so is their process of reproduction. Keep reading the following article as it deals with some interesting facts and details about vorticella.
Anatomy of Vorticella
Interesting Facts About Vorticella
As mentioned in the chart, vorticella belongs to the order Sessilida, which means they are sessile. Sessile means the organisms that are permanently attached to the substrate or base. It is also the reason why vorticella are always found on the surface of aquatic plants, crustaceans, or other submerged things in the freshwater habitats. However, vorticella are free-swimming (Telotroch) as well. Vorticella can be divided into two external body parts, as the bell and the stalk. They have a stalk which is called peduncle; that contracts or forms a spring-like structure due to the presence of spasmoneme. Spasmoneme is a wavy filament which is present inside the vorticella stalks. The spring liking coiling up process of the vorticella stalk is said to be the defense mechanism.
An interesting fact about vorticella is that adult vorticella can detach themselves from the peduncles if there are very limited food sources. Vorticella are sometimes found in colonies or small clusters that are visible to the naked eye. These are heterotrophic organisms and they mostly feed on tiny flagellates and bacteria which are present inside the water and on the surface of the aquatic substrates and crustaceans. The cilia or hair-like structure which is present on the surface of vorticella or the rest of the ciliates, helps them to eat food and stuff it down in the gullet. An average vorticella is around 150 µm with 1 mm stalk. Let's find out more about the reproduction process of vorticella.
How Does Vorticella Reproduce
When it comes to observing reproduction in live specimen, it is recorded that vorticella reproduce asexually. Asexual reproduction of animals means a type of reproduction in which the offspring gets birth from a single parent and shares the genes only of a single parent. It doesn't include the process like fertilization, fusion of gametes or mitosis. There are various types of asexual reproduction. Vorticella and other such unicellular microorganisms reproduce by either the process of budding or binary fission. In the process of the reproduction of vorticella, the vorticella cell undergoes longitudinal fission, which is a type of transverse binary fission. In transverse longitudinal binary fission, the cytoplasm of the cell separates into a pair of nuclei and produces two individual cells. These cells are named as the "daughter cells" and the "parent cells".
Amongst these separated cells, the daughter cells are the free cells that later turn to the free-swimming stage of members and they swim their way towards any appropriate substrate. Once it finds this suitable substrate, the daughter cell develops its individual stalk or peduncle. This process of transverse binary fission of vorticella is also called cell division, which is a commonly observed process in the laboratory specimen. Interestingly, vorticella also performs sexual reproduction, wherein it creates the daughter cells by the conjugation process. The process of conjugation in defined when two vorticella exchange their DNA with help of their oral grooves. Although vorticella is a commonly found organism, creating their new cells in the laboratory is said to be very difficult. Hence, experiencing the process of their live reproduction is said to be one of the great opportunities in the field of cytology.
Okay, so that was it for now as far as the process of reproduction of vorticella is concerned. I hope the above article was found informative in the quest of learning the reproduction basics of these tiny living organisms!