Intracellular organelle transport was studied in a new model system, the giant freshwater ameba Reticulomyxa. The ameba extends a large reticulate network of cytoplasmic strands in which various phase-dense organelles can be seen to move at a rate of up to 25 microns/s. This combined light and high voltage electron microscopic study shows that organelles move bidirectionally in even the finest network strands that contain only a single microtubule. In terms of microtubule-associated intracellular transport, this observation defines a minimum set of conditions necessary for such movement. The implications of this finding for possible models of force generation are discussed.

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