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Devescovinid Trichomonad with Axostyle-Based Rotary Motor (“Rubberneckia”): Taxonomic Assignment as Caduceia Versatilis Sp. Nov.
European Journal of Protistology (1999)
  • Ugo d’Ambrosio
  • Michael Dolan
  • Andrew M. Wier
  • Lynn Margulis, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
An amitochondriate trichomonad cell of the family Devescovinidae (Class Parabasalia), helped demonstrate the fluid model of lipoprotein cell membranes [24]. This woodingesting symbiont in the hindgut of the dry wood-eating termite Cryptotermes cavifrons is informally known to cell biologists as “Rubberneckia”. As the microtubular axostyle complex generates force causing clockwise movement of the entire anterior portion of the cell at the shear zone the protist displays “head” rotation. Studies by phase contrast and videomicroscopy of live cells, of whole mounts by scanning, and thin sections by transmission electron microscopy extend the observations of Tamm and Tamm [24–26] and Tamm [19–23]. Habitat, cell shape, size, nuclear features, parabasal apparatus and other morphological details permit the assignment of “Rubberneckia” to Kirby’s cosmopolitan genus Caduceia. This large-sized devescovinid has distinctive parabasal gyres, an axostylar rotary motor, and regularly-associated nonflagellated, fusiform and flagellated rod epibiotic surface bacteria. In addition to regularly aligned epibionts intranuclear and endocytoplasmic bacteria are abundant and hydrogenosomes are present. “Rubberneckia” is compared here to the other seven species of Caduceia, Since it is clearly sufficiently distinctive to warrant new species status, we named it C. versatilis.
  • Amitochondriate protists; Endonuclear bacteria; Eukaryotic rotational motility; Karyomastigonts; Trichomonad evolution
Publication Date
October 15, 1999
Publisher Statement
DOI: 10.1016/S0932-4739(99)80011-X
Citation Information
Ugo d’Ambrosio, Michael Dolan, Andrew M. Wier and Lynn Margulis. "Devescovinid Trichomonad with Axostyle-Based Rotary Motor (“Rubberneckia”): Taxonomic Assignment as Caduceia Versatilis Sp. Nov." European Journal of Protistology Vol. 35 Iss. 3 (1999)
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