Cercomonas clavideferens

Cercomonas clavideferens is a protozoa, a single celled organism, about 20 microns (thousandths of a millimetre) long, only visible under a powerful microscope.

Cercomonas clavideferens is abundant in soils and freshwater sediments, but has not been found alive in the sea. There are probably millions of these organisms in every kilogram of soil.

Cercomonas clavideferens is a voracious predator of bacteria, but probably eats a much wider range of organisms. Some Cercomonas species are known to gang up on and kill nematode worms, many times their size.

Species detail

Cercomonas clavideferens has two flagella, one pointing in the direction of movement and one trailing behind the cell. These can be seen as thin projections extending away from the cell in the photographs above. The flagella are about twice as long as the cell and are used for locomotion, feeding, and probably sensing the cell’s immediate environment.

  • Cercomonas clavideferens
    Taxonomy

    Find out more about the taxonomic ranks to which Cercomonas clavideferens belongs.

  • Cercomonas clavideferens
    Distribution and ecology

    Discover the types of habitat that Cercomonas clavideferens is known from, why it is important in microbial food webs and how understanding this species and its wider family can help us learn how environments 'work'. Find out about the feeding patterns of the species.

  • Cercomonas clavideferens
    Biology

    Learn about the different forms of Cercomonas clavideferens and ability of the cells to join together and fuse to form multicellular masses.

  • Cercomonas clavideferens
    References

    Get reference material for Cercomonas clavideferens.

Images

Cercomonas clavideferens

An SEM of the moving, feeding forms of Cercomonas clavideferens.

Cercomonas clavideferens

The cyst form of Cercomonas clavideferens which can survive long periods of dessication and other unfavourable conditions.

Cercomonas clavideferens

A multicellular plasmodia form of Cercomonas clavideferens showing individual cells joined by strands of cytoplasm.

Cercomonas clavideferens

A multicelluar plasmodia form of Cercomonas clavideferens showing cells combined into a single rounded mass.

Author

Dr David Bass

Biomedical parasitology researcher, Department of Zoology.

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