Letter | Published:

Conjugation in Spirostomum


ANY report of conjugation in Spirostomum is of special interest because of its extreme rarity. To our knowledge the last report was by Bishop3 nearly thirty-six years ago in S. ambiguum. Earlier, Stein1 and Balbiani2 had observed the process in the same species. In no case was it noticed as a regular phenomenon (as in Paramecium and other ciliates) affecting considerable numbers of animals in a population. Nor were any of these authors able to present a full account of the conjugation process, since it was encountered by them very infrequently. As Bishop says, ‘There was no appearance of true epidemic’ of conjugation.

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  1. 1

    Stein, Fr., “Der organismus der Infusiontiere”, 2 (Leipzig, 1868).

  2. 2

    Balbiani, F. G., Ann. Micrographie., 4, 369 (1892).

  3. 3

    Bishop, A., Quart. J. Micro. Sci., 67, 391 (1923).

  4. 4

    Seshachar, B. R., and Padmavathi, P. B., J. Protozool., 3, 145 (1956).

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