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Temperature adaptations in ciliates. I. Dependence of heat resistance of Paramecium caudatum on temperature conditions for existence

Temperature adaptations in ciliates. I. Dependence of heat resistance of Paramecium caudatum on temperature conditions for existence

Zool Zhur 36(11): 1630-1646

Experiments were done with asexual cultures kept at room temperature (18 to 20[degree]C), at 28 to 30[degree] ("warm") and at 7 to 8[degree] ("cold"). The heat resistance of the ciliates was measured by the speed of death at 40[degree]. Cultures which lived at room temperature were used as controls. The heat resistance of the "warm" lines was considerably higher than that of the controls, and this resistance appeared one hour after the ciliates were placed in the incubator. The "cold" cultures decreased their heat resistance to 30% as compared to the controls. The dependence of heat resistance of paramecia from previous thermic conditions was observed throughout the temperature scale, from 7 to 8[degree] and up to 28 to 30[degree]. The temperature coefficient (Q10) of action of lethal temperatures on paramaecia lies within the limits of 60 to 100. During prolonged cultivation of ciliates at 28 to 30[degree], prolonged modifications appeared, characterized by maintenance of increased heat resistance during numerous agamont generations. The increase of heat resistance causes a simultaneous increase in resistance toward some inadequate factors (ethyl alcohol, glucose) and a decrease in resistance toward cyanides. The wide individual adaptivity to environmental conditions is regarded as a characteristic feature of evolution, connected with the one-cell structure and with the agamous (asexual) form of reproduction.

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