Suspensions of Blepharisma intermedium were fed latex particles for 5 min and then were separated from the particles by filtration. Samples were fixed at intervals after separation and incubated to demonstrate acid phosphatase activity. They were subsequently embedded and sectioned for electron microscopy. During formation of the food vacuole, the vacuolar membrane is acid phosphatase-negative. Within 5 min, dumbbell-shaped acid phosphatase-positive bodies, possibly derived from the the acid phosphatase-positive Golgi apparatus, apparently fuse with the food vacuole and render it acid phosphatase-positive. A larger type of acid phosphatase-positive, vacuolated body may also fuse with the food vacuole at later stages. At about 20 min after formation, acid phosphatase-positive secondary pinocytotic vesicles pinch off from the food vacuoles and approach a separate system of membrane-bounded spaces. By 1 hr after formation, the food vacuole becomes acid phosphatase-negative, and the undigested latex particles are voided into the membrane-bounded spaces. The membrane-bounded spaces are closely associated with the food vacuole at all stages of digestion and are generally acid phosphatase-negative. Within the membrane-bounded spaces, dense, pleomorphic, granular bodies are found, in which are embedded mitochondria, paraglycogen granules, membrane-limited acid phosphatase-containing structures, and Golgi apparatuses. The granular bodies may serve as vehicles for the transport of organelles through the extensive, ramifying membrane-bounded spaces.

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