Phylogeny of phagotrophic euglenids (Euglenozoa) as inferred from hsp90 gene sequences

J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2007 Jan-Feb;54(1):86-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2006.00233.x.


Molecular phylogenies of euglenids are usually based on ribosomal RNA genes that do not resolve the branching order among the deeper lineages. We addressed deep euglenid phylogeny using the cytosolic form of the heat-shock protein 90 gene (hsp90), which has already been employed with some success in other groups of euglenozoans and eukaryotes in general. Hsp90 sequences were generated from three taxa of euglenids representing different degrees of ultrastructural complexity, namely Petalomonas cantuscygni and wild isolates of Entosiphon sulcatum, and Peranema trichophorum. The hsp90 gene sequence of P. trichophorum contained three short introns (ranging from 27 to 31 bp), two of which had non-canonical borders GG-GG and GG-TG and two 10-bp inverted repeats, suggesting a structure similar to that of the non-canonical introns described in Euglena gracilis. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed a closer relationship between kinetoplastids and diplonemids than to euglenids, and supported previous views regarding the branching order among primarily bacteriovorous, primarily eukaryovorous, and photosynthetic euglenids. The position of P. cantuscygni within Euglenozoa, as well as the relative support for the nodes including it were strongly dependent on outgroup selection. The results were most consistent when the jakobid Reclinomonas americana was used as the outgroup. The most robust phylogenies place P. cantuscygni as the most basal branch within the euglenid clade. However, the presence of a kinetoplast-like mitochondrial inclusion in P. cantuscygni deviates from the currently accepted apomorphy-based definition of the kinetoplastid clade and highlights the necessity of detailed studies addressing the molecular nature of the euglenid and diplonemid mitochondrial genome.

PMID:17300525 | DOI:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2006.00233.x