Zombie Volvox on PhysOrg

Ueki & Wakabayashi Fig. 4A-C

Figure 4A-C from Ueki and Wakabayashi 2018. Ca2+-dependent changes in the direction of axonemal beating. (A) Experimental setups for observation of live or demembranated spheroids in a chamber. (B) Frames from high-speed recordings of regions near the anterior (Top) and posterior (Bottom) poles of a live spheroid. The observation using setup A was under stationary conditions in continuous light (Left) and after photostimulation (Right). (Scale bar: 100 μm.) (C) Typical sequential flagellar waveforms in a single beating cycle under each condition. Waveforms recorded as in B were traced (time interval of 1/500 s). (Scale bar: 10 μm.).

Last month, I reported on mad scientists Noriko Ueki and Ken-ichi Wakabayashi’s reanimation of dead (demembranated) Volvox rousseletii spheroids. PhysOrg is also carrying the zombie Volvox story:

As a photosynthetic alga, the spheroid Volvox rousseletii must move in a light-sensitive way to survive. It achieves this by beating numerous flagella toward its posterior end for swimming forward and turning via changing the direction of flagellar motion from back to front if it perceives light. Exactly how this movement is regulated remains unclear, and existing techniques for studying the mechanism underlying flagellar motility are more suitable for single-celled organisms. Drs. Ueki and Wakabayashi at Tokyo Tech modified them for use with V. rousseletii and developed a powerful method of removing cell membranes with a detergent. The scientists call the demembranated V. rousseletii “Detergent-Extracted Volvox (DEV)” or simply “Zombie Volvox“. The motility of Zombie Volvox can be induced (reactivated) through the addition of an ATP buffer. Adding other substances can then allow the observation of their effects on motility.

The ELE is sure to approve their application now.

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