Almost complete sequences of plastid SSU rDNA (16S rDNA) from 17 species belonging to the order Euglenales (sensu Nemeth, 1997; Shi et al., 1999) were determined and used to infer phylogenetic relationships between 10 species of Euglena, three of Phacus, and one of each of Colacium, Lepocinclis, Strombomonas, Trachelomonas and Eutreptia. The maximum-parsimony (MP), maximum-likelihood (ML) and distance analyses of the unambiguously aligned sequence fragments imply that the genus Euglena is not monophyletic. Parsimony and distance methods divide Euglenaceae into two sister groups. One comprises of representatives from the subgenera Phacus, Lepocinclis and Discoglena (sensu Zakryś, 1986), whereas the other includes members of Euglena and Calliglena subgenera (sensu Zakryś, 1986), intermixed with representatives of Colacium, Strombomonas and Trachelomonas. In all analyses subgenera Euglena--together with Euglena polymorpha (representative of the subgenus Calliglena)--and Discoglena--together with Phacus and Lepocinclis--form two well-defined clades. The data clearly indicate that a substantial revision of euglenoid systematics is very much required, nevertheless it must await while more information can be gathered, allowing resolution of outstanding relationships.


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