Bräucker R, Machemer H, Machemer-Röhnisch S (1991): Gravitaxis in Loxodes

The ciliate Loxodes striatus lives in the sediments of freshwater-ponds at low 02 tensions [1]. Under this conditions it glides on the aboral side describing circles of very large radii The recently described gravitaxis of Loxodes is intricately linked to the sensation of chemical and photic stimuli. Special interest has been focussed on this cell because of the existence of Müller vesicles. These statocyst like organelles ("statocystoids") in the anterior cortex were seen as supportive evidence of sensation and response to the gravity vector. Fenchel & Finlay suggested that the Müller vesicles may act as a statocyst: A gravity induced mechanostimulation may cause an active orienting response of the cell.