Phylogenetic analyses of 35 strains including 25 previously published sequences and 10 which have been newly sequenced, representing two species of Euglena, five species of Phacus and three species of Astasia, were carried out using the SSU rDNA. Parsimony, distance and maximum-likelihood inferred phylogenies support (1) monophyly of the euglenoids, (2) kinetoplastids as the sister group, (3) the phagotrophic Petalomonas cantuscygni Cann et Pennick anchoring the base of the euglenoid lineage, (4) evolution of phototrophy within the euglenoids from a single event, (5) multiple origins of osmotrophic euglenoids and (6) polyphyly of the genera Euglena Ehrenberg and Phacus Dujardin. Analyses also indicate that Lepocinclis Perty, Trachelomonas Ehrenberg and Astasia Dujardin are polyphyletic. In addition, the results suggest that neither the Euglenales nor the Eutreptiales form a monophyletic lineage, thus questioning currently available classifications. Concerning the phagotrophic mode of nutrition, the data suggest that the feeding apparatus arose multiple times.


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