Field of Science

Mystery Micrograph #09

Mystery Micrograph #8 has been solved -- congrats to Mark Patterson! It was a nematode parasitising a foram, and I'll write it properly sometime soon -- waiting for a paper to arrive via interlibrary loan. From Russia. Paid for by you-the-kind-taxpayer. I love university...

Now for the next one. Top image scalebar = 10um, bottom image (TEM) scalebar = 0.1um, inset scalebar = 0.2um. You only need to identify the protist in this one [/hint]

(to be referenced later)

Good luck, and have fun! Someone here might really like this one =P


  1. It's a slice of a microbial thing.

    What did I win? ><

  2. Wow, very good. For an ex-physicist. =P win half an internet? Maybe? I heard the Central Bank of DESU is experiencing financial turmoil as well...

    (Proper scientists may get confused by all these internet memes flying around... then again, probably not ^_^ )

  3. it's something symbiotic isn't it...some kind of lichen perhaps? In which case it could be Chlorophyta...

  4. Right about symbiosis, wrong about lichen. Think about the types of environments where eukaryotes seem to REALLY love symbionts, more than usual.

  5. Nope.

    Another hint (should've mentioned earlier): TEM is a cross section of the thing in the SEM above.

  6. What do the letters on the micrographs indicate? Or would that give it away? My guesses are F=flagellum/a, CM=cell membrane, OM=outer membrane, SL=something (hah!) layer, but if any of those are incorrect, I might have a better time guessing this beast if I knew that.

    As for environments conducive to eukaryotes getting snuggly with symbionts, it might help to clarify what in general you mean by "environment" (so, for instance, would "the photic zone" count? or are you thinking of specific pH/oxic conditions/etc?) and by "eukaryote" (multicellular eukaryotes having generally different types of symbioses than unicellular ones). Or whether the two combine, as in animal gut biotae. I tend to jump to that one, but having worked with oxymonads, I would tend to gravitate there....

    It does look a bit like Streblomastix, but (a) that was already done here and (b) it does not look quite like Streblomastix -- I have never seen those intracellular prokaryotic things in Streblo. I suspect that they are endosymbiotic organisms, given that they do not appear to be getting digested anywhere. And the points of connection (the arrowheads in the left inset) between the endosymbionts (if such they are) and the host organism (if such it is) are suspicious as well. If "F" stands for "flagella" then I would lean towards it being a hypermastigote, although I am not familiar with any hypermastigotes that have that "splattered" cross-section, and know nothing about endosymbiotic associations with them (but they do often have epibionts!). Then again, there are an awful lot of hypermastigotes to pick from, so I could be wrong on that count.

  7. CM - cytoplasmic membrane
    OM - outer membrane
    SL - ... S-layer -_-

    F- flagella indeed

    On the right track there somewhere =P

  8. It's the parabasalid Hoplonympha!
    I found an article that reproduced these pics ( so I have no merit, obviously.

  9. You got it, congrats! And thanks for finding a free access copy of the pdf; I try to use publicly accessible pdf links whenever possible.

    Is this your second one? You got the haplosporidian too, if I recall =D

    I'll put a new one up soon...


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