Paramecium tetraurelia normally resorbs the pre-existing oral apparatus (and develops a new one) during sexual reproduction. Violation of this rule was found in amicronucleate cell lines. These cell lines generated chains of two cells (homopolar tandems) at a low frequency, as a result of incomplete binary fission during a transient growth depression period following emicronucleation. In autogamous chains, the proter resorbed the pre-existing oral structures, while some of the ospisthes retained them. The oral structures in the opisthes of the chains were unusually close to the opisthes' anterior end. The ectopic location of these oral structures might account for their retention, formally understood in terms of the theory of positional information. It is suggested that nongenic factors, likely involving components of the rigid cortical matrix, are involved in the fixation of positional values.

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