Malawimonas is a genus of small bacterivorous zooflagellates. The single species, M. jakobiformis O'Kelly & Nerad (paper in press), is known from a single locality on the western (Malawi) shore of Lake Nyasa, one of the great rift lakes in eastern Africa.
Malawimonas belongs to an informal protozoan group, the "jakobids", that has many similarities with the amitochondrial retortamonads. The jakobids contain the most eubacterial-like genomes so far observed in mitochondria, and may therefore provide important information on the origin and early evolution of mitochondria in eukaryotic cells.
Postulated global eukaryote phylogeny based on presence or (ancestral) absence of mitochondria, and shape of mitochondrial cristae. Malawimonas belongs to the discoidal cristae clade.
Postulated phylogenetic position of Malawimonas, inferred from molecular and morphological data. The relative positions of other jakobids (Jakoba, Reclinomonas), are also shown. Branch lengths are arbitrary and do not reflect phylogenetic distance. "Others" refers to additional, usually poorly known groups in the clade.
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