1887

Abstract

Given their ecological and medical importance, the classification of the kinetoplastid protists (class Kinetoplastea) has attracted much scientific attention for a long time. Morphology-based taxonomic schemes distinguished two major kinetoplastid groups: the strictly parasitic, uniflagellate trypanosomatids and the biflagellate bodonids. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on 18S rRNA sequence comparison suggested that the trypanosomatids emerged from within the bodonids. However, these analyses revealed a huge evolutionary distance between the kinetoplastids and their closest relatives (euglenids and diplonemids) that makes very difficult the correct inference of the phylogenetic relationships between the different kinetoplastid groups. Using direct PCR amplification of 18S rRNA genes from hydrothermal vent samples, several new kinetoplastid-like sequences have been reported recently. Three of them emerge robustly at the base of the kinetoplastids, breaking the long branch leading to the euglenids and diplonemids. One of these sequences belongs to a close relative of (a fish parasite) and of the ‘’-like endosymbiont of spp. amoebae. The authors have studied the reliability of their basal position and used all these slow-evolving basal-emerging sequences as a close outgroup to analyse the phylogeny of the apical kinetoplastids. They thus find a much more stable and resolved kinetoplastid phylogeny, which supports the monophyly of groups that very often emerged as polyphyletic in the trees rooted using the traditional, distant outgroup sequences. A new classification of the class Kinetoplastea is proposed based on the results of the phylogenetic analysis presented. This class is now subdivided into two new subclasses, Prokinetoplastina (accommodating the basal species and ‘’) and Metakinetoplastina (containing the Trypanosomatida together with three additional new orders: Eubodonida, Parabodonida and Neobodonida). The classification of the species formerly included in the genus is also revised, with the amendment of this genus and the genus and the creation of a new genus, .

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2004-09-01
2019-12-08
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