• Andrzej Ehrenfeucht
  • Tero Harju
  • Ion Petre
  • David M. Prescott
  • Grzegorz Rozenberg
Part of the Natural Computing Series book series (NCS)


The features of ciliates that make them uniquely useful for the study of natural computing are described in this chapter. Of particular advantage is the presence in these unicellular organisms of micronuclei and macronuclei. Genes in micronuclear chromosomes are in DNA segments, called MDSs, created by the insertion during evolution of segments of nongenetic DNA, called IESs. In some genes the MDSs have been reordered into scrambled arrangements. After cell mating a micronucleus is converted into a macronucleus, which requires excision of IESs and splicing of MDSs in an orthodox order, processes that are extraordinary cases of natural computing.


Actin Gene Unicellular Organism Food Organism Natural Computing Favorable Mutation 
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Notes on References

  1. 47.
    Prescott, D. M., The DNA of ciliated protozoa. Microbiol. Rev. 58 (2) (1994) 233–267Google Scholar
  2. 48.
    Prescott, D. M., Genome gymnastics: unique modes of DNA evolution and processing in ciliates. Nat. Rev. Genet. 1 (3) (2000) 191–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 49.
    Prescott, D. M., Bostock, C. J., Murti, K. G., Lauth, M. R., Gamow, E., DNA in ciliated protozoa. I. Electron microscopy and sedimentation analysis of macronuclear and micronuclear DNA of Stylonychia mytilus. Chromosoma 34 (1971) 355–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 54.
    Prescott, D. M., and Rozenberg, G., Encrypted genes and their reassembly in ciliates. In: M. Amos (ed.) Cellular Computing, Oxford University Press, Oxford (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrzej Ehrenfeucht
    • 1
  • Tero Harju
    • 2
  • Ion Petre
    • 3
  • David M. Prescott
    • 4
  • Grzegorz Rozenberg
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceÅbo Akademi UniversityTurkuFinland
  4. 4.Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  5. 5.Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer ScienceLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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