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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2014 Sep-Oct;61(5):463-79. doi: 10.1111/jeu.12126. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Morphological and molecular characterisation of Notosolenus urceolatus Larsen and Patterson 1990, a member of an understudied deep-branching euglenid group (petalomonads).

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Department of Urban Environmental Engineering, Kyungnam University, Changwon, 631-701, Korea.


Petalomonads are particularly important for understanding the early evolution of euglenids, but are arguably the least studied major group within this taxon. We have established a culture of the biflagellate petalomonad Notosolenus urceolatus, and conducted electron microscopy observations and molecular phylogenetic analysis. Notosolenus urceolatus has eight pellicular strips bordered by grooves and underlain by close-set microtubules. There are ventral and dorsal Golgi bodies. Mitochondria apparently contain fibrous inclusions, as in Petalomonas cantuscygni. A previously undocumented type of large, globular extrusome is present instead of the tubular extrusomes characteristic of Euglenozoa. The feeding apparatus lacks rods and vanes, and is partly supported by an "MTR". The flagella have complex transition zones that are extremely elongated but unswollen. Only the emergent portion of the anterior flagellum has an organised paraxonemal rod, and also has very fine mastigonemes. The basal bodies are offset and lack connecting fibres. 18S rRNA gene phylogenies show that N. urceolatus is closely related to Petalomonas sphagnophila and P. cantuscygni, not Notosolenus ostium, confirming that current generic assignments based on the number of emergent flagella are phylogenetically unreliable, and making it difficult to infer whether features shared by N. urceolatus and P. cantuscygni (for example) are general for petalomonads.


Electron microscopy; Euglenida; evolution; extrusome; phagotrophic; protist; protozoa

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