The effect of strychnine sulfate and light on pigmentation in the ciliate protozoan Blepharisma undulans has been determined. Upon exposure of cells to strychnine, the pigment granules become loosened from their surrounding membranes. Eventually these membranes break and the granules are simultaneously released from the cell. At the cell surface, a fusion occurs between adjacent membraneless granules with the incorporation of membrane fragments. This fusion of granules and membrane fragments results in the formation of a pigmented "capsule" around the organism. After elimination of the pigment, the granule membranes remaining in the cytoplasm fuse to form apparently empty vesicles. Other cell organelles are generally undisturbed. A similar situation occurs upon exposure of cells to artificial light for 12 to 18 hr, however, the slow elimination of granules from the cells under these conditions does not result in the formation of a pigmented "capsule." The possible mechanisms of these reactions are discussed.

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