Figure 1.

Complexity in free-living eukaryotic cells. (a) The giant ciliate Stentor coeruleus, a classic system for studying cellular pattern formation using microsurgical methods [5]. Each cell can be up to 2 mm long and has a complex and highly asymmetrical morphology that can be faithfully regenerated following surgical manipulation. Image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org webcite[5]. (b) Ventral surface of Stylonychia [7] showing distinct classes of cirri arranged in highly asymmetrical patterns that are reproducible from cell to cell. Reprinted from Developmental Biology [7] with permission from Elsevier. (c) Apical complex (from which the apicomplexans take their name) of Toxoplasma cell [9] containing distinct sets of microtubule-based structures. (d) Basal apparatus of Chlamydomonas [11] showing the complex inter-relationship between the two mature basal bodies, the two daughter basal bodies formed prior to division, four microtubule-based rootlets, and several accessory fibers linking the rootlets to the basal bodies. These complex geometrical relations surrounding centrioles and basal bodies are likely a key source of local positional information. Reproduced with permission from Journal of Cell Science [11].

Marshall BMC Biology 2011 9:57   doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-57
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