, Volume 224, Issue 1–2, pp 49–59 | Cite as

Devescovinid features, a remarkable surface cytoskeleton, and epibiotic bacteria revisited in Mixotricha paradoxa, a parabasalid flagellate

  • G. Brugerolle


This work reports on the flagellate systematics and phylogeny, cytoskeleton, prokaryote–eukaryote cell junction organisation, and epibiotic bacteria identification. It confirms the pioneer 1964 study on Mixotricha paradoxa and supplies new information. Mixotricha paradoxa has a cresta structure specific to devescovinid parabasalid flagellates, a slightly modified recurrent flagellum, and an axostylar tube containing two lamina-shaped parabasal fibres. However, many parabasal profiles are distributed throughout the cell body. There is a conspicuous cortical microfibrillar network whose strands are related to cell junction structures subjacent to epibiotic bacteria. The supposed actin composition of this network could not be demonstrated with anti-actin antibodies or phalloidin labelling. Four types of epibiotic bacteria were described. Bacillus-shaped bacteria with a Gram-negative organisation are nested in alternate rows on most of the surface of the protozoon. They induce a striated calyxlike junction structure beneath the adhesion zone linked to the cortical microfibrillar network. Slender spirochetes are attached by one differentiated end to the plasma membrane of the protozoon, forming knobs on the cell surface. Two very similar long rod-shaped bacteria are also attached on the knobs of the plasma membrane. A large spirochete attributed to the genus Canaleparolina is also attached to the protozoon. Observations on epibiotic bacteria and of their attachments are compared with several described epibiotic bacteria of symbiotic protozoa and with the results of the molecular identification of the epibiotic bacteria of M. paradoxa.

Key words: Cytoskeleton; Cell junction; Epibiotic bacterium; Mixotricha paradoxa; Spirochete; Termite. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biologie des Protistes, Unité Mixte de Recherche 6023, Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueUniversité Blaise PascalClermont-Ferrand

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