Isolation of 14-secretory mutants (exo-) of Tetrahymena thermophila and ultrastructural characterization (freeze-fracture and thin-section) of two of these (SB255 and SB258) are described. The site of secretion is marked by an intramembrane particle array, the rosette, beneath which the secretory organelle rests. Using Alcian Blue (8GS) as a secretagogue, a screening procedure for exo- cells was developed. Of the resulting 14 clones isolated, 10 are stable and have a tight mutant phenotype. Two of these, SB255 and SB258, lack assembled rosettes. Electron microscopy shows that SB255 has a reduced total number of mucocysts, whereas SB258 appears to have the normal number. This study demonstrates a useful eukaryotic model with which to study by genetic dissection the regulatory mechanisms involved in membrane events in secretion.

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