Feel the Heat? An Experimental Study on Temperature and Food Vacuole Formation Rates in Tetrahymena thermophila

  • Yuvraj Bhullar
  • Abner Kooner
  • Haoyuan Li
  • Tammy Tang


Tetrahymena thermophila are unicellular eukaryotes that take up nutrients, bacteria and other molecules through phagocytosis and the formation of food vacuoles. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of temperature on the amount of food vacuoles formed by T. thermophila. In order to investigate this, T. thermophila cells were exposed to three temperature conditions: 25°C, 30°C and 35°C for 20, 85, 115 and 145 minutes, with 3 replicates of each. Food vacuoles were counted and recorded for 5 cells, effectively producing a rate of food vacuole formation at the observed treatment temperatures. Based on one-way ANOVA, our results showed no significant difference between temperature and the rate of food vacuoles formed by T. thermophila.