Paramecium protozoa have two nuclei (a large macronucleus and a single compact micronucleus). They cannot survive without the macronucleus and cannot reproduce without the micronucleus. Paramecia reproduce asexually, by binary fission – the cell divides into two halves and each new cell obtains a copy of the micronucleus and the macronucleus.
Fission may occur as part of the normal cell cycle. Under certain conditions, it may be preceded by self-fertilization (autogamy), or it may follow conjugation, a sexual phenomenon in which Paramecia of compatible mating types fuse temporarily and exchange genetic material.
Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr
Tissue Culture & Art Project
SymbioticA, The Centre for Excellence in Biological Arts
School of Human Sciences + School of Design
The University of Western Australia