computer motion analysis
Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Moving intra-axonal organelles demonstrate frequent variations in speed when viewed over several seconds. To evaluate these and other motion variations, a long-term analysis of organelle motion in isolated axoplasm of Myxicola infundibulum was carried out using differential interference contrast optics and analog and digital image enhancement techniques. Motion characteristics of individual organelles were analyzed for periods of up to 58 minutes. Three principle observations on organelle motion were made: (1) Classes of organelles of the same size demonstrated a 5- to 25-fold variation of speed, with the slowest speeds occurring most frequently; (2) organelle speeds over individual translocations (motion without stopping) are inversely proportional to their size, but the speeds calculated for the long-term analysis of organelle motion (total distance travelled/total observation time, including pauses) did not reflect this observation; and (3) organelles displayed variable trip lengths, durations, mean speeds, and pause durations, and the relationships between these variations showed no repetitive patterns. In contrast to reported observations of uniform velocities of organelles moving on isolated microtubule preparations, these observations suggest that a variety of factors must play a role in organelle translocation in Myxicola axoplasm.
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