Clonal Life Cycle of Paramecium in the Context of Evolutionally Acquired Mortality

  • Y. Takagi
Part of the Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology book series (PMSB, volume 24)


A single bacterium dividing every 20 minutes, if nutrients could be supplied, would divide 144 times in 2 days to produce 2144 (1043) bacteria. Their weight would exceed the weight of the earth (6 × 1027 g), even if the weight of a single bacterium is underestimated at 10−15 g (10−15 × 1043 = 1028). Our body, consisting of on the order of 1013 cells, all of which have been derived from a single cell (a fertilized egg) would be attained by only 43 cell divisions and would become the size of an elephant after several more cell divisions, if a fertilized egg grew exponentially (243 = 1013). These examples of the tremendous power of exponential cell division indicate how important it is for living organisms to regulate cell division.


Sexual Reproduction Brake System Ciliated Protozoan Sexual Immaturity Paramecium Caudatum 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Takagi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyNara Women’s University Kita-uoya NishiNaraJapan

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