Ultrastructure of Trimastix pyriformis (Klebs) and similarities of Trimastix species with retortamonads and jakobids

Charles J. O'Kelly

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA

Mark A. Farmer

University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA

Thomas A. Nerad

American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, Virginia, USA

Protist 150: 149-162 (1999)

Trimastix pyriformis (Klebs 1893) Bernard et al. 1999, is a quadriflagellate, free-living, bacterivorous heterotrophic nanoflagellate from anoxic freshwaters that lacks mitochondria. Monoprotist cultures of this species contained naked trophic cells with anterior flagellar insertion and a conspicuous ventral groove. Bacteria were ingested at the posterior end of the ventral groove, but there was no persistent cytopharyngeal complex. The posterior flagellum resided in this groove, and bore two prominent vanes. A Golgi body (dictyosome) was present adjacent to the flagellar insertion. The kinetid consisted of four basal bodies, four microtubular roots, and associated fibers and bands. Duplicated kinetids, each with four basal bodies and microtubular root templates, appeared at the poles of the open mitotic spindle. Trimastix pyriformis is distinguishable from other Trimastix species on the basis of external morphology, kinetid architecture and the distribution of endomembranes.

Trimastix species are most similar to jakobid flagellates, especially Malawimonas jakobiformis, and to species of the retortamonad genus Chilomastix. Retortamonads may have evolved from a Trimastix-like ancestor through loss of "canonical" (easily seen with electron microscopy) endomembrane systems and elaboration of cytoskeletal elements associated with the cytostome/cytopharynx complex.

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