Summary: The induction of high rates of food vacuole formation in increased the rate of respiration in exponentially growing cells by 17% and in starving cells by 47.5%. The increased rate of oxygen uptake was caused by phagocytosis itself, as shown by comparing the rates of respiration of a Tetrahymena mutant exposed to particles at the permissive or restrictive temperatures for food vacuole formation. During cell division, heat-synchronized cells in rich, particle-supplemented medium showed a significant decrease in the rate of respiration. Furthermore, dimethyl sulphoxide, in concentrations sufficient to block food vacuole formation, suppressed the rate of respiration to a level similar to that of starved cells. Cytochalasin B, however, did not reduce the rate of oxygen uptake despite the inability of the cells to complete the formation of food vacuoles during treatment; a possible explanation for this finding is discussed. There was a strong correlation between formation of food vacuoles and a high metabolic rate in Tetrahymena.


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