Paramecium pp 271-281 | Cite as

Behavioral Genetics in P. caudatum

  • Mihoko Takahashi


Since the extensive and classic work by Jennings (1906), Paramecium has been one of the favorite materials for the study of behavior in unicellular organisms and, among a few species of Paramecium, P. caudatum has been used in many studies that are important for understanding the physiological mechanisms of behavior. The electrophysiological methods including voltage clamping (Kamada 1934; Naitoh and Eckert 1968a, b, 1969, 1974; Eckert et al. 1976), demembranated modeling (Naitoh and Kaneko 1972), and deciliation and reciliation procedures (Dunlap 1976; Ogura and Takahashi 1976) were first developed in the study of P. caudatum. A new approach to understanding the mechanisms of behavior in Paramecium using P. tetraurelia was initiated by Kung (1971a, b) and has been adding more extensive information relating to the mechanism of behavior by using mutants (see Ramanathan et al., Chap. 15, this Vol.). P. tetraurelia is a very useful organism for genetic studies because it has autogamy. This makes the genetic work of P. tetraurelia easy as in haploid organisms. P. caudatum lacks autogamy, but this disadvantage has been overcome by developing techniques of artificial induction of autogamy (Tsukii and Hiwatashi 1979) or cytogamy (Takahashi and Shono 1980), and thus many behavioral mutants have been obtained (Takahashi 1979; Takahashi et al. 1985). These mutants have been used for genetic studies in P. caudatum as convenient genetic markers (Karino and Hiwatashi 1981; Tsukii and Hiwatashi 1983; Tsukii and Hiwatashi 1985).


Double Mutant Chemical Induction Behavioral Genetic Pleiotropic Phenotype Artificial Induction 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mihoko Takahashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of TsukubaIbarakiJapan

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