The movie shows the rhythmic movement of the termite flagellate Pyrsonympha, a symbiont that lives in the hindgut. The motile structure is a complex of ~2,000 aligned microtubules, the axostyle which is highly birefringent and hence readily seen with polarizing microscopy. The movement is thought to be brought about by an ordered wave-like sliding between adjacent microtubules.
See: G.M. Langford and S. Inoue 1979. Motility of the microtubular axostyle in Pyrsonympha. J. Cell Biol 80:521-538.
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