Light- and Electron-microscopical Study of Belonocystis marina sp. nov. (Eukaryota: incertae sedis)

V. I Klimov, V. V. Zlatogursky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Belonocystis Rainer, 1968 is an enigmatic protist genus, which currently lacks any supergroup affiliation. The spherical cells of this organism move on the substratum using fine non-branching pseudopodia. The cell surface is surrounded with a spiky covering. Belonocystis marina sp. nov. was studied using light- and electron microscopy. It was clearly shown that the surface structures of Belonocystis were scales, not a capsule. The new species could be distinguished by the morphology of the scales, which had a bulbous base with three “skirts” (circular latticed structures) and a spike consisting of many twisted fibrils. Each scale was associated with a short cytoplasmic outgrowth. The organic nature of these scales was confirmed by energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis. Large multinucleated stages were discovered in the life-cycle of this organism. A survey of the cell ultrastructure revealed all the common eukaryotic organelles, including mitochondria with tubular cristae. No microtubules were detected in ult
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479–489
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016


  • Belonocystis
  • Luffisphaera
  • protists
  • scales
  • ultrastructure


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