Phylogenetic Analysis of the Diplomonadida (Wenyon, 1926) Brugerolle, 1975: Evidence for Heterochrony in Protozoa and Against Giardia Lamblia as a "Missing Link"

J Protozool. May-Jun 1992;39(3):361-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1992.tb01465.x.


A suite of 23 ultrastructural characters was used in a phylogenetic analysis of the protozoan order Diplomonadida. A single most parsimonious solution was found, with a length of 38 transformations and a consistency index of 0.84. The cladogram supports previous hypotheses of the relationships of the genera in the suborder Diplomonadina, as well as the inclusion of the genera Enteromonas and Trimitus in the order. Heterochrony is suggested in the change to binary axial symmetry, as hypermorphosis resulting from delayed cytokinesis in the ancestor. Hypotheses regarding a pivotal position for Giardia lamblia in the evolution of eukaryotes are inconsistent with the phylogeny proposed here.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Diplomonadida / classification
  • Diplomonadida / genetics*
  • Giardia lamblia / classification
  • Giardia lamblia / genetics*
  • Phylogeny