In ciliates, the function of a contractile vacuole is to quizlet
Ciliates are a diverse group of protozoans that are characterized by the presence of hair-like structures called cilia on their surface. These tiny organisms move through water using their cilia, which also aid in the capture of food and the removal of waste. One of the most important structures in ciliates is the contractile vacuole, which plays a crucial role in regulating water balance and preventing the cell from bursting.
The function of the contractile vacuole in ciliates is to regulate water balance and remove excess water from the cell. These organisms live in aquatic environments where the concentration of dissolved salts and other solutes can vary widely. To maintain the proper balance of water and solutes within the cell, ciliates use the contractile vacuole to pump water out of the cell.
The contractile vacuole works by collecting excess water and waste products into a central cavity. As the cavity fills up, it contracts, forcing the water and wastes out of the cell through a pore. This process can occur anywhere from tens to thousands of times per minute, depending on the species of ciliate and the environmental conditions.
One of the most interesting aspects of the contractile vacuole in ciliates is its ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. When ciliates are exposed to environments with low salt concentrations, the contractile vacuole becomes less active, allowing water to flow into the cell and increasing the concentration of solutes within the cell. Conversely, when ciliates are exposed to environments with high salt concentrations, the contractile vacuole becomes more active, pumping excess water out of the cell and maintaining the proper balance of water and solutes.
In conclusion, the contractile vacuole plays a vital role in maintaining water balance and preventing the cell from bursting in ciliates. Its function is to collect and expel excess water and waste products through a pore, which can contract anywhere from tens to thousands of times per minute. The ability of the contractile vacuole to adapt to changing environmental conditions is a testament to the remarkable evolutionary adaptations of these fascinating organisms.