Any of numerous minute, rodlike structures, each containing a protrusible filament, found near the surface of ciliates and dinoflagellates.
- These structures do not correspond to trichocysts seen in phase micrographs (data not shown) but connect both horizontally and vertically to other vesicular-like signals.
- Discharged trichocysts remain clustered around the cell surface and can easily be visualized under dark-field light microscopy with a x10 objective.
- After biogenesis, trichocysts migrate to the plasma membrane and are anchored to predetermined sites.
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