Increased carmine red exposure periods yields a higher number of vacuoles formed in Tetrahymena pyriformis
(1) Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusettshttps://doi.org/10.59720/22-105
Tetrahymena pyriformis (T. pyriformis) are single celled eukaryotes that use the process of phagocytosis to ingest food by forming vacuoles. Vacuoles are compartments in the cytoplasm of a cell which store the essential nutrients for the cell. T. pyriformis can use phagocytosis to create vacuoles of carmine red, a dye which is made using crushed insects and is full of nutrients (1). Establishing a relationship between vacuole formation and duration of exposure to food can demonstrate how phagocytosis occurs in T. pyriformis. We hypothesized that if T. pyriformis was incubated in a carmine red solution, then more vacuoles would form over time in each cell. This was because with increasing amounts of time, T. pyriformis would have a longer period to create new vacuoles. Our results revealed that during the 2 and 5-minute incubation periods, the number of vacuoles increased exponentially, and vacuole formation increased linearly after 5 minutes. The correlation between elongated carmine red exposure and the number of vacuoles formed suggests that the effectiveness of phagocytosis may depend on exposure to the dye, which is used to simulate the particles that they ingest. This may shed light on how other phagocytes manage their consumption of food for energy storage and other metabolic processes.