Giardia is a noninvasive intestinal zooflagellate. This electron microscope study demonstrates the fine structure of the trophozoite of Giardia muris in the lumen of the duodenum of the mouse as it appears after combined glutaraldehyde and acrolein fixation and osmium tetroxide postfixation. Giardia muris is of teardrop shape, rounded anteriorly, with a convex dorsal surface and a concave ventral one. The anterior two-thirds of the ventral surface is modified to form an adhesive disc. The adhesive disc is divided into 2 lobes whose medial surfaces form the median groove. The marginal grooves are the spaces between the lateral crests of the adhesive disc and a protruding portion of the peripheral cytoplasm. The organism has 2 nuclei, 1 dorsal to each lobe of the adhesive disc. Between the anterior poles of the nuclei, basal bodies give rise to 8 paired flagella. The median body, unique to Giardia, is situated between the posterior poles of the nuclei. The cytoplasm contains 300-A granules that resemble particulate glycogen, 150- to 200-A granules that resemble ribosomes, and fusiform clefts. The dorsal portion of the cell periphery is occupied by a linear array of flattened vacuoles, some of which contain clusters of dense particles. The ventrolateral cytoplasm is composed of regularly packed coarse and fine filaments which extend as a striated flange around the adhesive disc. The adhesive disc is composed of a layer of microtubules which are joined to the cytoplasm by regularly spaced fibrous ribbons. The plasma membrane covers the ventral and lateral surfaces of the disc. The median body consists of an oval aggregate of curved microtubules. Microtubules extend ventrally from the median body to lie alongside the caudal flagella. The intracytoplasmic portions of the caudal, lateral, and anterior flagella course considerable distances, accompanied by hollow filaments adjacent to their outer doublets. The intracytoplasmic portions of the anterior flagella are accompanied also by finely granular rodlike bodies. No structures identifiable as mitochondria, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi complex, lysosomes, or axostyles are recognized.

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