Comparative studies on gravisensitive protists on ground (2D and 3D clinostats) and in microgravity
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In order to prepare and support space experiments, 2D and 3D clinostats are widely applied to study the influence of simulated weightlessness on biological systems. In order to evaluate the results a comparison between the data obtained in simulation experiments and in real microgravity is necessary. We are currently analyzing the gravity-dependent behavior of the protists Paramecium biaurelia (ciliate) and Euglena gracilis (photosynthetic flagellate) on these different experimental platforms. So far, first results are presented concerning the behaviour of Euglena on a 2D fast rotating clinostat and a 3D clinostat as well as under real microgravity conditions (TEXUS sounding rocket flight), of Paramecium on a 2D clinostat and in microgravity. Our data show similar results during 2D and 3D clinorotation compared to real microgravity with respect to loss of orientation (gravitaxis) of Paramecium and Euglena and a decrease of linearity of the cell tracks of Euglena. However, the increase of the mean swimming velocities, especially during 3D clinorotation (Euglena) and 2D clinorotation of Paramecium might indicate a persisting mechanostimulation of the cells. Further studies including long-term 2D and 3D clinostat exposition will enable us to demonstrate the qualification of the applied simulation methods.
KeywordsCell Track Swimming Velocity Euglena Gracilis Real Microgravity Gravitactic Orientation
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