Original paper

Predation on heterotrophic flagellates by protists: Food selectivity determined using a live-staining technique

Premke, Katrin; Arndt, Hartmut

Archiv für Hydrobiologie - Hauptbände Volume 150 Number 1 (2000), p. 17 - 28

26 references

published: Nov 23, 2000

DOI: 10.1127/archiv-hydrobiol/150/2000/17

BibTeX file

ArtNo. ESP141015001001, Price: 29.00 €

Download preview PDF Buy as PDF


A method based on the live-staining (DAPI, FITC, DTAF) of heterotrophic flagellates was developed. These fluorescently labelled flagellates (FLF; different species) were offered as living prey in grazing experiments. The ingested differentially labelled flagellates could easily be identified in food vacuoles of protists using epifluorescence microscopy. We tested the method by using a filter-feeding ciliate (Euplotes vannus) and a heterotrophic dinoflagellate (Oxyrrhis marina) as predators of FLF. The food selectivity regarding different species of heterotrophic (Cafeteria, Bodo, Spumella, Oxyrrhis) and autotrophic (Chlamydomonas) flagellates was estimated from food vacuole contents of protists. Both protistan predators showed a preference for the large flagellates. Grazing rates of Euplotes and Oxyrrhis on heterotrophic flagellates ranged between 2-53 flagellates per ciliate and hour and 1-31 flagellates per flagellate and hour, respectively. The method was proofed to be very useful for the quantification of trophic interactions among protists using epifluorescence microscopy, it can also be applied for studies by laser scanning microscopy and should be applicable for investigations by flow cytometry.


Protozoamicrobial food web