Membrane excitation was the basis for backward swimming of Paramecium facing stimulus. According to standard genetic tests, inexcitable mutants fell into three complementation groups for both Paramecium tetraurelia (pwA, pwB, and pwC) and Paramecium caudatum (cnrA, cnrB, and cnrC). Cytoplasm from a wild type transferred to a mutant through microinjection restored the excitability. Transfusions between genetically defined complementation groups of the same species effected curing, whereas transfusions between different mutants (alleles) of the same group or between sister cells of the same mutant clone did not. Cytoplasmic transfers of all combinations among the six groups of mutants of the two species showed that any cytoplasm, except those from the same group, was able to cure. Since the pawns and the caudatum nonreversals complement one another through transfusion, they appeared to belong to six different complementation groups. The extent of curing, the amount of transfer needed to cure, and the time course of curing were characteristic of the group that received the transfusion. Variations in these parameters further suggested that the six groups represented six different genes. Because the donor cytoplasms from either species were equally effective quantitatively in curing a given mutant, the curing factors were not species specific. These factors are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.