Paramecium multimicronucleatum - Video of the Contractile Vacuole Complex. In vivo CVC filling/expulsion cycles. A CV in a compressed cell is observed in side view undergoing cycles of filling (diastole) and expulsion (systole) of its fluid content as the CV membrane fuses then separates from the plasma membrane and with one radial arm. The radial arm fuses with the CV after systole then just before systole it again separates from the CV. As the CV empties fluid will flow into the end of the radial arm next to the CV that is called the ampullus. This fluid comes from the collecting canal of the same radial arm. There are actually 5 to 10 radial arms connected to one CV but the others are out of the focus plane or out of the field of focus. Movies were taken by Dr. Tomomi Tani with differential interference contrast optics attached to a Leica DMIRB inverted microscope. A Leica Fluotar x63 objective lens (NA = 0.7) was used. A DVD resolution version of this is available at CIL:10411.
Biological Process: Cellular water homeostasis
Author: Tomomi Tani & Richard Allen
Source: The Cell: An Image Library