Cytological staining of protozoa: a case study on the impregnation of hypotrichs (Ciliophora: spirotrichea) using laboratory-synthesized protargol

2017-09-20T07:16:15Z (GMT) by Ji Hye Kim Jae-Ho Jung
<p>Protargol (silver proteinate) impregnation is a common method used to identify and characterize ciliated protozoa. Unfortunately, chemical companies have stopped producing the ‘strong’ protargol powder used in this method. Based on an in-house protocol for its synthesis published in 2013, more than 10 batches of protargol powder were produced and subsequently applied in taxonomic studies. During these studies, the protocol for protargol powder synthesis was slightly modified and employed a peptone not originally listed in the 2013 protocol. This modification improved the results of the impregnation protocol. Protargol preparations of hypotrichs were optimized by adjusting the pH during staining rather than during the synthesis. The pH was adjusted to 7.5–7.6, and an acetone developer was used. While the conditions used in this study are not completely comparable to those using the commercially produced protargol, access to this information could help researchers investigate the diversity of ciliates, particularly hypotrichs.</p>