The phylogeny of kinetoplastid flagellates was investigated by determining the sequences of the small-subunit (18S) rRNA from Bodo designis, Bodo saltans K, Bodo saltans P, Bodo sorokini, Bodo sp. (cf. uncinatus), Cruzella marina, Cryptobia helicis, Dimastigella mimosa and Parabodo nitrophilus and analysing these data together with several previously obtained sequences. The root of the kinetoplastid tree was tentatively determined to be attached to the branch of B. designis and/or Cruzella marina. Within this topology, the suborder Trypanosomatina appears as a late-emerging monophyletic group, while the suborder Bodonina is paraphyletic. Within the bodonid subtree, the branches of parasitic organisms were intermingled with free-living ones, implying multiple transitions to parasitism. The tree indicates that the genera Cryptobia and Bodo are artificial taxa. In addition, the separation of the fish cryptobias and Trypanoplasma borreli as different genera was not supported.


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