Document Detail

Macroevolution of complex cytoskeletal systems in euglenids.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17876783     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Euglenids comprise a group of single-celled eukaryotes with diverse modes of nutrition, including phagotrophy and photosynthesis. The level of morphological diversity present in this group provides an excellent system for demonstrating evolutionary transformations in morphological characters. This diversity also provides compelling evidence for major events in eukaryote evolution, such as the punctuated effects of secondary endosymbiosis and mutations in underlying developmental mechanisms. In this essay, we synthesize evidence for the origin, adaptive significance and diversification of the euglenid cytoskeleton, especially pellicle ultrastructure, pellicle surface patterns, pellicle strip number and the feeding apparatus. We also highlight holes in our knowledge that must be filled before we are able to confidently describe euglenid cell biology and infer the earliest stages in euglenid evolution. Nonetheless, by possessing combinations of characters resulting from adaptive change and morphostasis, euglenids have retained key pieces of evidence necessary for reconstructing the early evolution and diversification of eukaryotic life.
Brian S Leander; Heather J Esson; Susana A Breglia
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0265-9247     ISO Abbreviation:  Bioessays     Publication Date:  2007 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-09-24     Completed Date:  2007-11-30     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8510851     Medline TA:  Bioessays     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  987-1000     Citation Subset:  IM    
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity, Departments of Botany and Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Cell Membrane Structures / ultrastructure
Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
Euglena / classification,  genetics,  ultrastructure*
Eukaryotic Cells / classification,  physiology
Models, Biological

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