Interpretation of acridine orange staining of ciliates living in freshwater and in the soil

Acridine orange staining is found to be specific for the different genera of the Cili- ates (Ciliophora). Minimal laboratory equipment and protocol are presented for reproducible AO staining of the ciliates living in freshwater and in the soil. Live-Cell-Imaging can be obtained by using digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) with video function. Staining of DNA supports identification of species by showing macronuclei und micronuclei. Localization of active DNA by differentiation of dsDNA und ssDNA is possible during mitosis by staining with AO. Phagosomes, lysosomes and acidosomes will be stained depending on pH from green to red supporting visualization of processes during endocytosis and exocytosis. Organelles in regions of the cilia and close to cell membrane will be stained in red for certain genera. This is compared with previous examination of the trichocyst system of the genus Paramecium.

DOI: 10.5414/MKX0058

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