Cilia & Flagella


     Cilia and flagella are projections eminating from cells. Made up of microtubules they are motile and designed either to move the cell itself or to move substances over or around the cell. The primary purpose of cilia in mammalian cells is to move fluid, mucous, or cells over their surface. Cilia and flagella have the same internal structure. The major difference is in their length and or the arrangement of cilia in rows.

     Cilia and flagella are organized from centrioles that moved to the cell periphery and became embeded in membranes. Called "Basal Bodies", they control the direction of movement of the cilia.

    Cilia and Flagella differ from centrioles in that they contain 9 sets of doublet MT’s and a two individual MT’s in the center.How the triplets in a basal body (identical structure to centriole) turn into a cilium doublet remains a mystery.