Ciliates are a phylum of protozoans noted for their hairy
appearance. The hair-like organelles are called cilia. The cilia
provide a means of aquatic locomotion for the organism to find food
and avoid dangerous environments.
Ciliates have two or more nuclei. Usually, there is one
(MAC) and at least one
- The macronucleus contains DNA that controls non-reproductive
cellular functions (such as cellular metabolism).
- The micronucleus stores a copy of the genome specifically
for the purpose of reproduction. The DNA contained in the MIC
genome is dormant except during sexual reproduction. The MIC
contains the germline DNA for the cell.
Ciliate genes and proteins
- Actin -- a highly conserved protein found in eukaryotes. Actin
forms the microfilaments in the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Mutations
in genes that control the production of Actin are almost always
- Tubulin proteins form the tissues found in the microtubules of the cell.