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Myzocytosis

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Myzocytosis (from Greek: myzein, (μυζεῖν) meaning "to suck" and kytos (κύτος) meaning "container", hence referring to "cell") is a method of feeding found in some heterotrophic organisms. It is also called "cellular vampirism" as the predatory cell pierces the cell wall and/or cell membrane of the prey cell with a feeding tube, the conoid, sucks out the cellular content and digests it.

Myzocytosis is found in Myzozoa[1] and also in some species of Ciliophora (both comprise the alveolates). A classic example of myzocytosis is the feeding method of the infamous predatory ciliate, Didinium, where it is often depicted devouring a hapless Paramecium.[2] The suctorian ciliates were originally thought to have fed exclusively through myzocytosis, sucking out the cytoplasm of prey via superficially drinking straw-like pseudopodia. It is now understood that suctorians do not feed through myzocytosis, but actually, instead, manipulate and envenomate captured prey with their tentacle-like pseudopodia.[3]

References

  1. ^ Cavalier-Smith, T.; Chao, E.E. (2004). "Protalveolate phylogeny and systematics and the origins of Sporozoa and dinoflagellates (Phylum Myzozoa nom. Nov.)". European Journal of Protistology. 40 (3): 185–212. doi:10.1016/j.ejop.2004.01.002.
  2. ^ Didinium eats Paramecium. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  3. ^ Rudzinska, M. A. (1973). "Do Suctoria Really Feed by Suction?". BioScience. 23 (2): 87–94. doi:10.2307/1296568. JSTOR 1296568.

Further reading


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Myzocytosis
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