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Cilia and Flagella Movement

Ciliary and Flagellar movement
The ciliary beat consists of two strokes: Power stroke and Recovery stroke.
power stroke and recovery stroke

During power(forward) stroke the cilium moves against the surrounding medium with force. This causes the pushing the water backwards and the organism forward.

During recovery(backward) stroke, the cilium returns to the original position by a flexible movement. This mechanism is similar to the actions for rowing a boat.

Movements of Cilia and Flagella

Movements of cilia and flagella are of four types: pendulous, unciform, infundibuliform and undulant.
  • The Pendulous ciliary movement: It is carried out in a single plane. It occurs in the ciliated protozoans which have rigid cilia. In such cases the movement of the cilia is carried out by a flexion at its base.
  • The unciform ciliary movement: The unciform (hook like) ciliary movement occurs commonly in the metazoan cells. In such type of movement, when the cilia contract it becomes double and acquires a hook like shape.

  • The infundibuliform ciliary movement: This types of clilary movement occurs due to the rotatary movement of the cilium and flagellum. In this case, the cilium and flagellum is passed through three mutually perpendicular planes in the space and makes conical or funnel -shaped shape.

  • The undulant movement: This movement is characteristic of the flagellum. In undulant movement the waves of the contraction proceed from the site of implantation and pass to the border. 

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