The predominant orientation of cilia in glycerol-extracted Paramecium is toward the posterior of the specimen in a KCl solution. The cilia became reoriented toward the anterior shortly after transfer of the extracted cell to a mixture of ATP, calcium, and zinc. The degree of response was graded as a function of the concentration of each of the three essential factors. Minimum concentrations for the maximum response were 0.2 mM in ATP, 0.8 mM in calcium, and 0.0002 mM in zinc. The observations support the hypothesis that cation-induced ciliary reversal in live specimens is initiated by calcium ions which become displaced from an inferred cellular cation exchanger system.

This content is only available as a PDF.