Can hydrodynamics help prey transport in microbial filter feeders?

Wednesday 03 Mar 21


Seyed Saeed Asadzadeh
DTU Aqua

Many protists take advantages of surface motility by utilizing microtubule-filled extensions to capture and handle prey particles. Some flagellates, e.g choanoflagellates, however, do not have these extensions, and the underlying mechanism responsible for prey transportation is unknown. In a recent paper, we investigate possible effects of hydrodynamic forces in prey transportation in such flagellates.

We find that although transportation does not entirely rely on hydrodynamic forces, such forces positively contribute to the transportation of prey along the collar filter. As hydrodynamic effects are strongly linked to the beat and shape of the flagellum, our results indicate an alternative mechanism for prey transportation, especially in biological systems where having an active transport mechanism is costly or not feasible. This suggests an additional potential role for flagella in addition to providing propulsion and generating feeding currents.


Read the paper here:


Sørensen S , Asadzadeh SS,  Walther HW (2021) Hydrodynamics of Prey Capture and Transportation in Choanoflagellates. Fluids 20216(3), 94;


Header image: Choanoflagellate Diaphanoeca grandis (A), the model morphology (B), and some arbitrary prey locations on the collar filter (C)
27 NOVEMBER 2021