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Cilia and flagella are aimed for similar perpose, motion. And both of them show the (9+2) microtubule arrangement. They are nearly identical in structure. But to be more specific , where exactly does the little difference lie (except the 5-6 bridge) ?

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Perhaps you mean that flagella spin to provide locomotion whereas the cilia tubules themselves beat. the flagellar motor vs the fixed anchored structure of the cilia...

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help but the question actually asked about the difference in their 'ultrastructure' or 'micro-anatomy' you may say... $\endgroup$
    – Sarika
    Sep 19 '20 at 16:00
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Eukaryotic cilia and flagella are identical in ultrastructure.

The only reason for two different terms for the same thing is historical usage. Traditionally, 'cilia' has been used for shorter, more numerous structures and 'flagella' for longer structures which are fewer in number.

Although cilia and flagella are the same, they were given different names before their structures were studied. Source: Lodish et al (2000)

In fact, some have suggested doing away with this dual terminology, and simply calling all these structures 'cilia'.

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  • $\begingroup$ But isn't there at least some subtle difference like the 5-6 bridging bond in flagella that is absent in cilia ? $\endgroup$
    – Sarika
    Sep 22 '20 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Sarika I am not familiar with that... Can you please share a source for this information? $\endgroup$
    – Adhish
    Sep 22 '20 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for asking me for source! That finally cleared everything :) as I thoroughly looked up once again and found out that both cilia and flagella do contain that '5-6 bond'. I'm sharing the link here: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3468612 $\endgroup$
    – Sarika
    Sep 23 '20 at 9:22

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