Computational Fluid Dynamics of Choanoflagellate Filter-Feeding

Research output: Research - peer-reviewConference abstract for conference – Annual report year: 2017


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Choanoflagellates are unicellular aquatic organisms with a single flagellum that drives a feeding current through a funnel-shaped collar filter on which bacteria-sized prey are caught. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) we model the beating flagellum and the complex filter flow of the choanoflagellate Diaphanoeca grandis. Our CFD simulations based on the current understanding of the morphology underestimate the experimentally observed clearance rate by more than an order of magnitude: The beating flagellum is simply unable to draw enough water through the fine filter. Our observations motivate us to suggest a radically different filtration mechanism that requires a flagellar vane (sheet), and addition of a wide vane in our CFD model allows us to correctly predict the observed clearance rate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2017
Event70th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD17) - Denver, United States
Duration: 19 Nov 201721 Nov 2017


Conference70th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD17)
CountryUnited States
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ID: 139802249