Primary Structure of 28S rRNA Gene Confirms Monophyly of Free-Living Heterotrophic and Phototrophic Apicomplexans (Alveolata)

Biochemistry (Mosc). 2015 Nov;80(11):1492-9. doi: 10.1134/S0006297915110115.


Phylogenetic analysis of large subunit ribosomal RNA (LSU rRNA or 28S rRNA) gene sequences from free-living predatory flagellates Colpodella angusta, Voromonas pontica, and Alphamonas edax (Apicomplexa) confirms their close relationship with chromerids Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, which possess a functional photosynthetic plastid. Together these organisms form a sister group to parasitic apicomplexans (coccidians and gregarines, or sporozoans sensu lato). This result agrees with the previous conclusion on monophyly of colpodellids and chromerids (chrompodellids) based on phylogenomic data. The revealed relationships demonstrate a complex pattern of acquisition, loss, or modification of plastids and transition to parasitism during alveolate evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alveolata / classification*
  • Alveolata / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Phylogeny*
  • Plastids / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / classification
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • RNA, Ribosomal