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Protist. 1999 Dec;150(4):383-98.

Symbiomonas scintillans gen. et sp. nov. and Picophagus flagellatus gen. et sp. nov. (Heterokonta): two new heterotrophic flagellates of picoplanktonic size.

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Station Biologique, CNRS, INSU et Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Roscoff, France.


Two new oceanic free-living heterotrophic Heterokonta species with picoplanktonic size (< 2 microm) are described. Symbiomonas scintillans Guillou et Chrétiennot-Dinet gen. et sp. nov. was isolated from samples collected both in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This new species possesses ultrastructural features of the bicosoecids, such as the absence of a helix in the flagellar transitional region (found in Cafeteria roenbergensis and in a few bicosoecids), and a flagellar root system very similar to that of C. roenbergensis, Acronema sippewissettensis, and Bicosoeca maris. This new species is characterized by a single flagellum with mastigonemes, the presence of endosymbiotic bacteria located close to the nucleus, the absence of a lorica and a R3 root composed of a 6+3+x microtubular structure. Phylogenetical analyses of nuclear-encoded SSU rDNA gene sequences indicate that this species is close to the bicosoecids C. roenbergensis and Siluania monomastiga. Picophagus flagellatus Guillou et Chrétiennot-Dinet gen. et sp. nov. was collected in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Cells are naked and possess two flagella. This species is characterized by the lack of a transitional helix and lateral filaments on the flagellar tubular hairs, the absence of siliceous scales, two unequal flagella, R1 + R3 roots, and the absence of a rhizoplast. SSU rDNA analyses place this strain at the base of the Chrysophyceae/Synurophyceae lineages.

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