On the Processing Power of Protozoa

  • Mark Daley
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5028)


The ciliated protozoa are a diverse, and ubiquitously occuring, group of unicellular eukaryotic organisms of striking complexity. Almost all ciliates are binucleated; that is, unlike other eukaryotes, they have two types of nuclei: micronuclei and macronuclei. The macronuclei behave functionally as one would typically expect of a eukaryotic nucleus: they express proteins and take care of the general “housekeeping” functions of the cell. Ciliate macronuclei are ampliploid and contain very little non-coding DNA. The diploid micronuclei, arranged much more like a typical eukaryotic nucleus, are inert during the “day-to-day” functioning of the cell and serve instead as a storehouse for germline information.


Theoretical Biology Ciliated Protozoan Epigenetic Programming Sexual Process Emergent Complexity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Daley
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Computer Science and BiologyThe University of Western Ontario 

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