The ciliated protozoan, Tetrahymena pyriformis strain GL-C, has been used to study the effect of cell population density during starvation on the synchrony obtained after refeeding and on the number of cells arrested in G2 phase of the cell cycle. At high cell densities two peaks of division indices were observed after refeeding while only one was observed at low cell densities. Cell division began earlier in cultures starved at high cell densities. Most importantly, the proportion of cells in G2 was considerably higher in populations starved at high cell densities. When tritiated thymidine was present during the refeeding period, radioautographs of cell samples at different times showed that the first cells to exhibit division furrows contained unlabeled nuclei. The first peak in the division index after refeeding was observed only at higher cell densities and is attributed to the cells arrested in G2. These results suggest that Tetrahymena is an excellent organism to study the concept of resting stages in the cell cycle and their control.

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