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  Section: Introduction to Botany » The Cell
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The Cell
  The Cell Doctrine
  Golgi Bodies
  Endoplasmic Reticulum
  Nuclear Membrane
  Cell Membrane
  Cell Walls
  A Single-celled Imposter

Cilia: (a) whiplash and (b) tinsel type
Figure 2-12 Cilia:
(a) whiplash and (b) tinsel type
Many microscopically sized plants and certain fungi contain hair like structures that project out from the cell surface. These structures are used to propel the cells through the water and are called cilia or flagella. In many plants, cilia or flagella are found only in sperm cells. There is little difference between cilia and flagella except for length (flagella tend to be longer), and method of movement. An electron microscope reveals the same structure for both. A cross-sectional view of a cilium shows a circle of nine pairs of microtubules, with two single microtubules in the center. Each microtubule possesses thirteen longitudinal filaments. This structure is universal for all cilia and flagella except those occurring in bacteria. Flagella and cilia grow out from an organelle called the basal body.


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