The body of the trichocyst is composed of a core and a cortex which have slightly different electron diffracting properties, thus the cortex is darker since it scatters more electrons. An electron transparent zone surrounds the cortex and separates the trichocyst membrane from the body. The trichocyst tip is composed of a central spike covered by a sheath. The spike is nail-shaped with its “head” resting on the trichocyst body. The trichocyst membrane completely surrounds both trichocyst body and sheath. (Details of trichocyst fine structure were recorded by Bannister, J. Cell Sci. 11:899-929, 1972.) TEM taken on 4/6/78 by R. Allen with Hitachi HU11A operating at 75kV. Neg. 14,750X. Bar = 0.5µm.
Standard glutaraldehyde fixation followed by osmium tetroxide, dehydrated in alcohol and embedded in an epoxy resin. Microtome sections prepared at approximately 75nm thickness. The negative was printed to paper and the image was scanned to Photoshop. This digitized image is available for qualitative analysis. Additional information available at (http://www5.pbrc.hawaii.edu/allen/).
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