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Related to Flagellates: Ciliates, Sporozoans
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



mastigophorans, unicellular and colonial organisms having flagella as their organs of locomotion. Certain groups of flagellates, such as euglenoids, are assigned to the plant world by botanists and to the animal world by zoologists.

(1) In botany, flagellates (Flagellatae) were earlier regarded as a division (phylum) consisting of several classes, a number of which (Pantostomatinae, Protomastiginae, and Distomatinae) are not recognized as plant organisms today. Because of their great biochemical and morphological diversity, some of the remaining flagellates are separated into an independent division (euglenoid algae), and others (Peridiniales and Cryptomonadineae) are considered as classes of the division pyrophytic algae or other divisions (Chrysomonadineae of the division golden algae, Volvocineae of the division of green algae).

(2) In zoology, the flagellates (mastigophorans) are a class of protozoans consisting of two subclasses (Phytomastigina and Zoomastigina), which include 13 orders (approximately 3,000 species). The first subclass includes organisms containing pigments and feeding themselves principally by photo-synthesis. The second subclass includes heterotrophic organisms and organisms with a holozoic type of nutrition. Among the heterotrophic mastigophorans there are some that feed on liquid organic substances and inhabit putrefying fluids or parasitize the blood and tissues of animals and man. Mastigophorans that feed holozoically swallow solid food, principally bacteria and unicellular organisms.

Mastigophorans usually have from one to eight, and some-times more, flagella that proceed from the anterior end of the body; one of the flagella directed backward sometimes clings to the wall of the body, forming a curving wavelike membrane (for example, in trypanosomes). The body is clad in a thin external membrane, a pellicle, often with a compact chitinous armor or a casing of cellulose plates. The nucleus is usually single; sometimes there are a few score nuclei. Contractile vacuoles serve to regulate osmotic pressure and excretion. Mastigophorans equipped with chromatophores have a stigma (a light-sensitive organoid) located at the base of the flagellum; these mastigophorans are characterized by positive phototaxis. They reproduce most often by longitudinal binary fission; many are transformed during reproduction into cysts with thick membranes, after which they divide once or several times. In some mastigophorans, individuals produced by asexual reproduction do not separate but form colonies. Sexual reproduction is seldom observed, predominantly among representatives of the subclass Phytomastigina; the sexual process includes isogamy, heterogamy, or oogamy. One or several individuals, sometimes an entire colony, are obtained from a zygote. Free-living mastigophorans inhabit fresh waters and seas; parasitic ones are found in the bodies of animals and men, and many of them are causative agents of diseases of humans and domestic animals (for example, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, and Giardia).


Epshtein, G. V. Patogennye prosteishie, spirokhety i gribki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931.
Rukovodstvo po zoologii, vol. 1. Edited by L. A. Zenkevich. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.
Pavlovskii, E. N. Rukovodstvo po parazitologii cheloveka s ucheniem o perenoschikakh transmissivnykh boleznei, 5th ed., vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In fact, considering that heterotrophic flagellates are important consumers of bacteria (SIMEK et al., 1999) and phytoplankton (SHERR; SHERR 1992) assemblages, we highlight that important predator-prey relationships probably existed among them.
Flagellate numbers remained high until day 10 in the same culture but decreased from day 12-15 p.i.
Ultrastructural changes related to the ingestion and digestion of cellulose by flagellate, Trichonympha agilis.
fragilis ([section]) P44 + flagellate P45 - ND P50 - ND P52 + unclassified P54 + flagellate P56 + unclassified P59 + unclassified P60 - ND P71 - ND P75 - ND P91 - ND P93 + unclassified P 97 + flagellate P111 - ND P113 - ND P116 - ND P122 + flagellate P131 - ND P133 - ND Pig 1 - ND Pig 2 - ND Pig 3 - ND Pig 4 - ND Pig 5 - ND Pig 6 - ND Pig 7 - ND Pig 8 - ND Pig 9 - ND Pig 10 - ND DF-P1 - ND DF-P2 - ND DF-P3 - ND DF-P4 - ND H1 - ND H2 - ND H3 - ND H4 - ND H5 - ND H6 - ND H7 - ND H8 - ND H9 - ND H10 - ND H11 - ND H12 - ND H13 - ND H14 - ND H15 + D.
Our observations demonstrated that mussels assimilated carbon from diatoms at a lower efficiency than they did from dinoflagellates and flagellates. This is probably typical for many bivalves, because the cell walls of diatoms are rigid and resistant to enzymatic digestion and physical breakdown, and diatoms also contains significantly higher quantities of inorganic matter.
Our studies suggest that although there may not be a rich diversity of amitochondriate taxa, the exploration for previously unknown flagellates should be continued.
Duplicate subsamples of 10-20 mL were withdrawn from water samples for preservation and subsequent counting of heterotrophic flagellates. Samples were stained with proflavin, preserved with cold glutaraldehyde (1% final solution), filtered onto 1.0-[[micro]molar] filters with gentle vacuum ([less than]13.3 kPa), and stored in a freezer.
Flagellates of the human intestines and the intestines of other species, pp.
Most wood decomposition in the digestive tract of subterranean termite workers (family Rhinotermitidae) occurs in food vacuoles of flagellate protozoan symbionts in the hindgut (Radek, 1999).