Tetramitus exhibits independent ameboid and flagellate stages of remarkable morphological dichotomy. Transformation of the ameba involves the formation of four kinetosomes and their flagella. The arrangement of these kinetosomes and associated whorls of microtubules extending under the pellicle establishes the asymmetric flagellate form. While no recognizable kinetosomal precursors have been seen in amebae, and there is no suggestion of self-replication in dividing flagellates, developmental stages of kinetosomes have been identified. These are occasionally seen in association with the nucleus or with dense bodies which lie either inside of or close to the proximal end of the prokinetosome. Outgrowth of flagella involves formation of an axoneme and a membrane. From the distal tip of the kinetosome microtubules grow into a short bud, which soon forms an expanded balloon containing a reticulum of finely beaded filaments. The free ends of the microtubules appear unraveled; they are seen first as single elements, then as doublets, and finally are arranged into a cylinder. Growth in length is accompanied by a reduction in the diameter of the balloon. The concept that the formation of the kinetic apparatus might involve a nuclear contribution, followed by a spontaneous assembly of microtubules, is suggested.

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