The apusomonads (order Apusomonadida) are a group of protozoan zooflagellates that glide on surfaces, and mostly consume prokaryotes. They are of particular evolutionary interest because they appear to be the sister group to the Opisthokonts, the clade that includes both animals and fungi. Together with the Breviatea, these form the Obazoa clade.
Characteristics and morphology
Apusomonads are small gliding heterotrophic biflagellates (= with two flagella) that possess a proboscis, formed partly or entirely by the anterior flagellum surrounded by a membranous sleeve. There is a pellicle under the dorsal cell membrane that extends into the proboscis sleeve and into a skirt that covers the sides of the cell. Apusomonads present two different cell plans:
*Derived cell plan, represented by Apusomonas, with a round cell body and a mastigophore, a projection of the cell containing both basal bodi
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