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Ciliate conjugation Animation

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Protozoan conjugation is an unusual form of sexual reproduction Prospective partners join together, usually at the surface of their oral depressions. The cells undergo cytoplasmic fusion. Meiosis II produces four haploid micronuclei. Now the macronucleus of each cell begins to break down. In each cell, one haploid micronucleus remains intact; the other three degenerate. The remaining haploid micronuclei divide. Each cell swaps one daughter micronucleus with its partner. In each partner, the two micronuclei fuse, forming a diploid micronucleus. The cells disengage and their micronuclei divide. Two of the micronuclei develop into macronuclei. Each has a macronucleus and a micronucleus.

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