SUMMARY: Exposure of cysts of to slightly increased environmental CO caused excystement. Excystment was also induced by addition of proline or by an increase in the cyst population density, but both did so by increasing the amount of CO produced by the bacteria () which contaminated the cyst suspensions. Molecular CO would seem to be an excellent signal to induce excystment of a phagotrophic soil amoeba since the presence of CO would indicate an environment favourable for growth of the amoebae. Once excystment is initiated, it can proceed to completion in atmospheric CO.


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