Ultrastructure and molecular phylogeny of the cryptomonad goniomonas avonlea sp. nov.

Eunsoo Kim, John M. Archibald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We describe a new species of cryptomonad, Goniomonas avonlea sp. nov., using molecular phylogeny and comprehensive microscopic investigation. G. avonlea is a marine bacterivorous flagellate, measuring 8-11. μm long and 6-7. μm wide, with two subequal flagella that are directed anteriorly and posteriorly. G. avonlea is morphologically and genetically distinct from three other Goniomonas species that have been described to date. SEM and TEM show that G. avonlea shares ultrastructural features with other Goniomonas and cryptomonads, including the presence of bipartite ejectisomes, double septa in the transition region, flat mitochondrial cristae, a furrow complex, a rhizostyle, rectangular periplast plates, and the infundibulum. The discharged large ejectisome is straight and has a unique loose, reticulate layer. The flagellar apparatus includes non-tubular roots, microtubular roots, and a compound root that is reminiscent of the multilayered structure (MLS) observed in the flagellate cells of streptophytes and a few other eukaryotes. Molecular phylogenies based on 18S and 28S rRNA genes suggest a specific affiliation of G. avonlea to marine Goniomonas species, and support the monophyly of Goniomonas to the exclusion of plastid-bearing cryptomonads. Our study adds to a growing body of evidence for the high level of diversity and antiquity of the genus Goniomonas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-182
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank MA Trevors, P Li, and P Scallion for assistance with SEM and TEM preparations, M Leger for French translation of the Mignot's 1965 paper, and LK Graham, AA Heiss, and AGB Simpson for providing helpful comments on TEM work and the taxonomic description. Three anonymous reviewers are thanked for their comments. EK is supported by the Centre for Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Bioinformatics and the Tula Foundation. JMA holds a CIHR New Investigator Award and is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity.


  • Cryptomonads
  • Cryptophytes
  • Ejectisome
  • Goniomonas
  • Heterotrophic flagellate
  • Ultrastructure.


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