Georgia Journal of Science


Little is known regarding what triggers phagocytosis in ciliates. It is unclear as to whether these organisms will ingest inert particles without dissolved organic solutes to stimulate consumption. We fed the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis 3 µm polystyrene beads while the organisms were immersed in starvation medium, 0.8% glucose, and growth medium. T. pyriformis fed well in all three media. We find no evidence that Tetrahymena requires organic solutes to trigger ingestion of inert particles.


F.M.B. and H.L.C. contributed equally to this work.