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Keywords:

  • Diplonema;
  • euglenoids;
  • feeding apparatus;
  • Lentomonas;
  • Ploeotia;
  • three-dimensional reconstruction;
  • ultrastructure

The ultrastructure of the feeding apparatus in Ploeotia costata Farmer and Triemer was determined and compared to other euglenoid feeding apparatuses. The feeding apparatus opened subapically onto the ventral surface and extended nearly the entire length of the cell. It consisted of four parts at the anterior surface: a comb, cytostome/pocket, vanes, and supporting rods. The comb was a multilayered structure of three horizontal microtubular rows encased in cement and formed the dorsal lip of the apparatus. The cytostome/pocket was located between the comb and the supporting rods, tapered into the cell as the cytopharynx and was surrounded by five vanes. The electron-opaque vanes extended the entire length of the feeding apparatus and were lined with microtubules for most of their length. Finally, two cement supporting rods that were joined by a crosspiece at the anterior end formed the ventral lip. The rods separated briefly before merging with the vanes. As the merged rods and vanes descended into the cell, they gradually narrowed and terminated. Comparisons of the feeding apparatus with Ploeotia vitrea, Diplonema ambulator, Lentomonas applanatum, and other euglenoids have led to the conclusion that the Type II feeding apparatus is found only in Ploeotia species.