The rheotaxis mechanism of swimming ciliates
The swimming unicellular organisms, which live in freshwater, need to resist currents in the environment. Without this ability, their habitat changes with the flow, and they cannot survive in nature for a long time. It is reported that a kind of swimming microorganism, Paramecium, exhibits upstream swimming in 1904. However, the mechanism of the behavior has been still unclear. To elucidate the mechanism, we observed the behavior of a ciliate in a flow field and performed numerical fluid calculations. My results suggest that the rheotaxis is realized by cell shape and inhibition of ciliary beating near the wall.
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