• Bjorn A. Afzelius
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (SIOR, volume 1)


The cilium and its longer variety, the flagellum, must be regarded as one of Nature’s most successful inventions. The lucky event, when cilia came into being took place perhaps a thousand million years ago and in a eukaryotic cell, which according to Cavalier-Smith (1981) would be regarded as a fungal cell. The immediate precursor to the cilium might have been cytoplasmic microtubules such as those seen in the mitotic spindle. During subsequent evolution this ciliated cell gave rise not only to the fungal ‘kingdom’ but also to the protozoan, plant, and animal kingdoms. Cilia and flagella are common in all these kingdoms and have the same structure.


Basal Body Primary Cilium Situs Inversus Ciliated Epithelium Cytoplasmic Microtubule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjorn A. Afzelius
    • 1
  1. 1.Wenner-Gren InstituteUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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