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Front Microbiol. 2014 Mar 28;5:112. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00112. eCollection 2014.

Morphology, phylogeny, and ecology of the aphelids (Aphelidea, Opisthokonta) and proposal for the new superphylum Opisthosporidia.

Author information

1
Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences St. Petersburg, Russian Federation ; St. Petersburg State University St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
2
St. Petersburg State University St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
3
A. N. Belozersky Institute for Physico-Chemical Biology, Lononosov Moscow State University Moscow, Russian Federation.
4
St. Petersburg State University St. Petersburg, Russian Federation ; Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
5
School of Biological Sciences F07, University of Sydney Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

The aphelids are a small group of intracellular parasitoids of common species of eukaryotic phytoplankton with three known genera Aphelidium, Amoeboaphelidium, and Pseudaphelidium, and 10 valid species, which form along with related environmental sequences a very diversified group. The phyla Microsporidia and Cryptomycota, and the class Aphelidea have recently been considered to be a deep branch of the Holomycota lineage forming the so called the ARM-clade which is sister to the fungi. In this review we reorganize the taxonomy of ARM-clade, and establish a new superphylum the Opisthosporidia with three phyla: Aphelida phyl. nov., Cryptomycota and Microsporidia. We discuss here all aspects of aphelid investigations: history of our knowledge, life cycle peculiarities, the morphology (including the ultrastructure), molecular phylogeny, ecology, and provide a taxonomic revision of the phylum supplied with a list of species. We compare the aphelids with their nearest relatives, the species of Rozella, and improve the diagnosis of the phylum Cryptomycota.

KEYWORDS:

Aphelida; Cryptomycota; Microsporidia; Opisthosporidia; Rozella; ecology; molecular phylogeny; ultrustucture

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