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Biosystems. 1991;25(1-2):113-20.

A proposed phylogeny of the flagellated protostelids.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701.


The flagellated members of the group of mycetozoans known as protostelids have been recognized for some time to be members of a monophyletic group which also includes the myxomycetes. This inference was based primarily upon comparisons of the flagellar apparatus of the amoeboflagellate state. However, more detailed comparisons based on the whole life history and comparisons with an outgroup were necessary to have information sufficient to determine the interrelationships within the group. Recent studies of the other states of the life history of protostelids have provided a wealth of additional morphological and developmental characters such that an in depth phylogenetic analysis is possible. The results show that the group can be resolved into two major clades, one of which contains the myxomycetes and the myxomycete-like protostelid genera, Protosporangium, Clastostelium, and Ceratiomyxa, and another which contains the protostelid genera Planoprotostelium, Cavostelium, and Ceratiomyxella. As the myxomycetes appear to be part of the ingroup, and not a sister group to the protostelids, L.S. Olive's subclass Protostelia must be considered paraphyletic.

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