Telonema antarcticum sp. nov., a common marine phagotrophic flagellate

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2005 Nov;55(Pt 6):2595-2604. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.63652-0.


Telonema is a widely distributed group of phagotrophic flagellates with two known members. In this study, the structural identity and molecular phylogeny of Telonema antarcticum was investigated and a valid description is proposed. Molecular phylogeny was studied using small-subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) gene sequences. The pear-shaped cell had two subequal flagella that emerged laterally on the truncated antapical tail. One flagellum had tripartite hairs. The cell was naked, but had subsurface vesicles containing angular paracrystalline bodies of an unknown nature. A unique complex cytoskeletal structure, the subcortical lamina, was found to be an important functional and taxonomic feature of the genus. Telonema has an antero-ventral depression where food particles are ingested and then transferred to a conspicuous anterior food vacuole. The molecular phylogeny inferred from the SSU rRNA gene sequence suggested that Telonema represents an isolated and deep branch among the tubulocristate protists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Eukaryota / classification*
  • Eukaryota / genetics
  • Eukaryota / pathogenicity
  • Eukaryota / physiology
  • Flagella / classification
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • DNA, Ribosomal

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ564773