5 years ago

Stalk-length-dependence of the contractility of <i>Vorticella convallaria </i>.

Ryu, Chung
<i>Vorticella convallaria</i> is a sessile protozoan of which the spasmoneme contracts on a millisecond timescale. Because this contraction is induced and powered by the binding of calcium ions (Ca<sup>2+</sup>), the spasmoneme showcases Ca<sup>2+</sup>-powered cellular motility. Because the isometric tension of <i>V. convallaria</i> increases linearly with its stalk length, it is hypothesized that the contractility of <i>V. convallaria</i> during unhindered contraction depends on the stalk length. In this study, the contractile force and energetics of <i>V. convallaria</i> cells of different stalk lengths were evaluated using a fluid dynamic drag model which accounts for the unsteadiness and finite Reynolds number of the water flow caused by contracting <i>V. convallaria</i> and the wall effect of the no-slip substrate. It was found that contraction displacement, peak contraction speed, peak contractile force, total mechanical work, and peak power depend on the stalk length. The observed stalk-length-dependencies were simulated using a damped spring model, and the model estimated that the average spring constant of the contracting stalk is 1.34 nN/μm. These observed length-dependences of <i>Vorticella</i>'s key contractility parameters reflect the biophysical mechanism of the spasmonemal contraction, and thus they should be considered in developing a theoretical model of the <i>Vorticella</i> spasmoneme.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1088/1478-3975/aa89b8

DOI: 10.1088/1478-3975/aa89b8

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