TWO DIFFERENT SPECIES OF EUGLENA, E. GENICULATA AND E. MYXOCYLINDRACEA (EUGLENOPHYCEAE), ARE VIRTUALLY GENETICALLY AND MORPHOLOGICALLY IDENTICAL1

Authors


  • 1

    Received 20 February 2002. Accepted 23 July 2002.

Author for correspondence: e-mail zakrys@mercury.ci.uw.edu.pl.

Abstract

We investigated the similarity of a single Euglena myxocylindracea strain, isolated originally by Bold and MacEntee, to several Euglena geniculata strains on both morphological and DNA levels. We found the three DNA stretches, consisting of fragments coding for the parts of cytoplasmic and chloroplast small subunit rRNA, and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of cytoplasmic rDNA, with the combined length of 4332 nucleotides, are identical in E. myxocylindracea and E. geniculata, strain SAG 1224-4b. Morphological differences between E. myxocylindracea and any E. geniculata strain examined were well within the range of E. geniculata variability as well. The only difference behind the distinction of E. myxocylindracea from E. geniculata is the presence of the second chloroplast in the latter. However, we were able to induce the appearance of the second chloroplast in the cells of E. myxocylindracea and its disappearance in the cells of E. geniculata by changing the composition of the culture media. We therefore conclude that E. myxocylindracea Bold and MacEntee should be regarded as an environmental form of E. geniculata Dujardin. For the first time the morphology of E. geniculata chloroplasts was shown as revealed by confocal laser microscopy.

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