Slipper - Division, structure, function and properties - The world of bacteria (2023)

Paramecium is an important part of the biological world, and understanding the structure, function and properties of this organism and how it is classified is an important part of mastering microbiology.

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Slipper - Division, structure, function and properties - The world of bacteria (1)

To help you, we have put together the ultimate guide to help you understand Paramecium. Read on to find out everything you need to know!

What is a slipper?

Paramecium is an organism belonging to the kingdom Protista, has a unicellular structure and is found mainly in freshwater habitats.

Depending on the species, its size varies from 50 to 300 µm and belongs to the genus of ciliates.

In addition, the Paramecium also belongs to the phylum (the taxonomic category to which the organism belongs) of the ciliophorus, which means that the entire surface is covered with "cilia", which are small threads that aid in locomotion and allow food to enter the body into the mouth .

Classify the slipper

Paramecium is described as unicellular - meaning consisting of a single cell - and eukaryotic - meaning a cell containing both organelles and a nucleus, both of which are surrounded by a plasma membrane.

This means that the organism belongs to the kingdom Protista. They are ciliated protozoa belonging to the phylum Ciliophora.

The most common species of Paramecium include:

  • Aurelius Paramecius
  • Pantofelek ogoniasty
  • Woodruff's paramedic
  • Trichy Paramecium

Struktur pantofelka

The first thing that is worth paying attention to is the characteristic construction of the slipper, which looks like this:

size and shape

Paramecium is a single-celled protozoan of microscopic size, ranging in size from 170-290 µm to 300-350 µm.

Surprisingly, despite its small size, the slipper can be seen with the naked eye. The organism has an elongated shape, compared to a slipper - hence the nickname "slipper animal".

The back of the body is pointed and thick, almost conical, while the front is wider and more rounded, with the widest point just below the middle of the body.

The body is asymmetrical, with a convex ventral or dorsal surface and a well-defined oral or ventral surface.


The epidermis is a thin membrane or film that covers the body. The body of the paramecia is completely covered with membranes. They serve to support the cell membrane and consist of a gelatinous material with elastic properties.

They ate

Eyelashes are a series of small protrusions that stretch all over the body and resemble hair. Cilia are arranged in longitudinal rows of equal length and distributed over the entire surface - they are called holotrich villi.

There are also several longer fibers at the posterior end of the body that form the caudal tuft of cilia, from which the caudatum is named.

The achenes have the same structure as flagella: it is a shell made of a cell membrane or protoplast with nine longitudinal filaments - arranged in a ring.

The inner fibrils are much thinner than the outer ones, and each cilia is formed by a basal granularity. The cilia have a diameter of 0.2 µm and support the movement.

Through life

The cytostome, or mouth of the cell, is the phagocytic component of the cell, and to understand this, we need to understand phagocytosis.

In its simplest sense, phagocytosis, a term derived from the ancient Greek (phagein) "to eat" and o (kytos) "cell", is the process by which a cell uses its plasma membrane to enclose a large particle (0.5 m) in incorporation. , forming an inner chamber called the phagosome.

A phagocyte is a cell that performs phagocytosis.

Phagocytosis is a key mechanism of the immune system of a multicellular organism whose task is to remove pathogens and cellular debris, keeping the cell clean, free of toxins and unwanted guests.

The phagosome then digests the ingested material; Examples of phagocytosis include bacteria, dead tissue cells, and small mineral particles.

Some protozoa use phagocytosis to obtain nutrients.

So what does this trial have to do with Paramecius? The cytostome is a key element in the structure of the slipper and this cytostome is responsible for the phagocytosis process.

The cytostome contains many components, including:


The peristome, also called the oral sulcus, is a large, shallow depression on the bottom and side of the body.

A short cone-shaped funnel leads to an area called the vestibule.

And this atrium, in turn, runs first through an oval opening in the cytostome, then through a long opening called the cytopharynx, and finally into the esophagus, which leads to the food vacuole.

Cytopyge i Cytoproct

Cytopig, also called cytoproct, is located just behind the cytostome on the ventral surface and is responsible for the excretion of all undigested food.


Slipper - Division, structure, function and properties - The world of bacteria (2)

It is an important substance associated with ectoplasm, the consistency of which is compared to jelly.

It is closely related to the ectoplasm, a thin layer on the periphery of the cell.

It is a transparent, dense layer with a granular interior composed of endoplasm or semi-liquid plasmol.

Basically, the cytoplasm is the fluid that suspends and supports cellular organelles and molecules.

These are tiny cellular structures present in the cytoplasm and responsible for performing specific functions in bacteria or prokaryotic cells, as well as eukaryotic cells of humans, plants and animals.

The cytoplasm also supports the movement of molecules within cells, such as B hormones, and dissolves all accumulated cellular waste.


Ectoplasm consists of fibrous structures and the aforementioned cilia and trichocysts, which will be discussed in a moment.

These elements form an outer layer that is thin, dense and transparent. This ectoplasm is then attached to the epidermis externally through the sheath.


The endoplasm is a key component of any cytoplasm and contains various granules. It consists of various components such as vacuoles, mitochondria, and nuclei.


Trichocysts are small bodiesis in the cytoplasm.

Trichocysts contain a thick and friable fluid containing swollen substances. The head is conical in shape with a spike at the outer end.


As with any cell, the nucleus is the key component of the slipper and is made up of two smaller components: the macronucleus and the micronucleus.

The macronucleus is ellipsoidal or kidney-like in shape and is densely packed with DNA (chromatin granules).

The macronucleus, also called the vegetative nucleus, is responsible for controlling all the slipper's vegetative functions.

The micronucleus is close to the macronucleus and is small, compact and spherical in shape.

Tiny granules and strands of chromatin are fairly evenly distributed throughout the cell - they are responsible for controlling and regulating the reproduction of that particular cell.

I'm sure

Vacuoles are typically responsible for transporting materials into and out of a particular cell. There are two types in the slipper: contractile vacuoles and food vacuoles.

Contractile vacuoles

These organisms also include two "contractile vacuoles" at each end of the body.

These so-called "temporary organs" regularly disappear and fill with various fluids.

Five to twelve root canals are attached to each contractile vacuole, consisting of three elements: a bulb, an injection canal and a terminal part.

The injector tube enters directly into the contractile vacuole and carries the fluid taken from the body - this causes the vacuole to enlarge and allows the fluid to drain out of the body.

Both contractile vacuoles contract irregularly. Because the posterior contractile vacuole is close to the cytopharynx, it contracts faster when more water flows through it.

Respiration, osmoregulation and secretion are important tasks of the contractile vacuoles.

food vacuole

The size of the food vacuole varies in the endoplasm, where food particles, enzymes, and a small amount of fluid and bacteria are digested.

These food vacuoles are associated with digestive granules that aid in the digestion of food and are typically spherical in shape.

These are the main elements that make up the structure of the slipper. Understanding them gives you a broader view of the body.

Slipper properties

Slipper - Division, structure, function and properties - The world of bacteria (3)

Now that we have taken a closer look at the structure of the slipper, it is time to take a closer look at the characteristics of the organism. There are a few issues worth considering here.

environment and habitat

Paramecium is a free-living organism found all over the world.

It is most commonly found in stagnant bodies of water, including ponds, freshwater areas, swimming pools, ditches, lakes, and any slow-flowing body of water containing a lot of decaying organic matter.

In short, the slipper can be found in various places as long as the conditions are right.

feeding and exercise

The paramecia's outer body is covered with cilia, tiny structures that are constantly moving and allow the paramecia to move at four times its body length per second.

As the slipper moves forward, it rotates on its axis, which helps push food into the esophagus.

The slipper can also move in the opposite direction, altering the movement of the cilia, allowing for greater freedom of movement.

As mentioned earlier, phagocytosis is the process of pushing food through the cilia into the esophagus and then into the food vacuoles.

Hydrochloric acid combines with enzymes to digest food; After digestion is complete, the remaining food content is rapidly expelled into the cytoproct or epidermis.

Water taken from the environment by osmosis is continuously removed from the body by means of contractile vacuoles at the ends of the cell.

The slipper also eats other microorganisms such as bacteria and various yeasts.

It uses cilia to collect food and move water along with the prey and draw it into the mouth opening.

Food then enters the esophagus through the mouth. After ingesting enough food, a vacuole forms in the cytoplasm circulating through the cell.

The enzymes then use the cytoplasm to enter the cell and digest the food.

After digestion is complete, the vacuole contracts and the digested nutrients enter the cytoplasm.

They then go to the anal pores, where the digested nutrients are excreted as waste, leave the body and enter the environment.


The mutual relationship between two organisms that benefit is called symbiosis.

Some Paramecium species, such as P. bursaria and P. chlorelligerum, form symbiotic relationships with green algae, from which they not only obtain food and nutrients when needed, but also protect themselves from predators such as Didinium nasutum.

Endosymbiosis between green algae and paramecia has been recorded, including oneAn example is bacteriaknown as kappa particles, which give the slipper the ability to kill other slipper strains lacking these bacteria.


Like all other ciliates (organisms included in this phylum), Paramecium has one or more diploid micronuclei and polyploid macronuclei, resulting in a double nuclear apparatus.

The function of the micronucleus is to maintain genetic stability and ensure the highest quality gene transfer through reproduction.

It is also known as the germinal nucleus or generative nucleus.

The macronucleus is involved in non-reproductive cellular functions, such as expression of genes that are essential for the proper functioning of the cell.

Asexual reproduction occurs in the slipper through binary fission. During reproduction, micronuclei divide by mitosis while macronuclei divide by amitosis.

After transverse cell division, each new cell contains a copy of both a micronucleus and a macronucleus.

Reproduction of binary fission can occur spontaneously.

Autogamy (self-fertilization) may also occur under certain conditions or may undergo a process of reproduction where genetic material is exchanged by mating between two paramecia deemed suitable by temporary fusion.

During conjugation, micronuclei divide meiotically, resulting in haploid gametes that are transferred between cells.

This process destroys the original macronucleus, and the fusion of the gametes of both organisms forms a diploid micronucleus.

Alternatively, when conditions are unfavorable and food is scarce, Paramecium reproduces by autogamy or conjugation.


During the cleavage phase of asexual paramecium growth, there is a slow loss of energy due to clonal senescence during mitotic cell division.

P. tetraurelia is a well-studied species, highlighting the risk that the cell relies solely on asexual reproduction and cloning rather than autogamy or conjugation. The former means that cells die after 200 divisions.

Clonal senescence leads to an increase in DNA damage, especially to macronuclei - this is the most common cause of senescence in P. tetraurelia.

According to the DNA damage theory of aging, the general aging process in unicellular protists is similar to that in multicellular eukaryotes.


After sequencing the P. tetraurelia genome, the researchers found strong evidence of three complete genome duplications.

In some ciliates such as Stylonychia and Paramecium, UAA and UAG are called sense codons while UGA is called stop codon.

To learn

From various experiments, some inconclusive results have been obtained regarding the ability or lack of such ability of the slipper to exhibit learning behavior.

A study in 2006 showed that P. causatum could potentially be trained and taught to distinguish between brightness levels using a 6.5 volt electrical current.

While this discovery is still in its early stages, it is recognized as having great potential for cellular memory or perhaps epigenetic learning in an organism that lacks a nervous system.

However, it should be noted that more research is needed to get definitive results and evidence.

The meaning of the word paramecium

Paramecia are also thought to play a key role in their wider habitat and ecosystem, making them important to scientists.

According to experts, the slipper can help fight algae, bacteria and other protists found in the water.

They can also help remove minor impurities from the water and eat small animals.

In addition, because the organisms are relatively transparent and have more visible organelles, the slipper is also used for teaching purposes in biology classes.

Final thoughts

The fascinating, complex organism Paramecium can also play a crucial role in maintaining our environment and ecosystems - despite their small size, these organisms have proven that they can be powerful!

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Jennifer Dawkins

Hi, my name is Jennifer Dawkins and I am a self-proclaimed science geek. I love learning about all kinds of weird and wonderful things in the science world, but lately my favorite thing is learning about bacteria and their different species.

As a little girl, I was fascinated by science. For every vacation, I searched for the latest science kit and spent weeks learning from it.

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