L-alanine and its peptides (L-Ala-2–6) do not attract or repulse Tetrahymena in a 10−8M concentration. In 10−10M concentration there is a consistent repellent effect. Twenty four hours after L-alanine or L-alanine-peptides' pretreatment (imprinting) the progeny generation of the cells react differently to the same materials. L-Alanine, L-alanine penta- and hexapeptide in both concentrations are chemoattractant, while L-alanine tetrapeptide is repellent. L-Alanine dipeptide is inert in 10−10M and repellent at 10−8M concentrations, while L-alanine tripeptide is strongly repellent at 10−10M and attractant at 10−8M concentrations. This means, that the first encounter (imprinting) with an exogeneous amino acid or peptide is decisive to the later reaction of the protozoan cell. The chain length is important in the imprinting, however the reaction is not consistent. The experiments call the attention to the significance of imprinting in the receptor and hormone evolution.

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