Microbial Sport: Hunting

Microbes employ many different stategies for hunting prey, from acting as lone assassins to wolf-pack hunting. Here I have stained cells of the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cereviseae with the Erlich stain (methylene blue) and then let Paramecium caudatum hunt them down. Paramecium is much lager than the small blue yeast cells that can be just made out in the videos. If you look closely at the revolving Paramecium you should be able to see small blue cells within them. These are yeast cells that they have captured and which are being eaten.

In the video in the middle, small blue yeast cells appear to orbit the Paramecium. This is because they have been snagged by trichocysts, microscopic harpoon-like devices that the Paramecium uses for both defence and capturing prey

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