Lackey, James B. Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Last reviewed:August 2020
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A class of protozoa of the subphylum Sarcomastigophora. Members of the class Zoomastigophorea, also known as Zoomastigina, are flagellates that have few or no characters relating them to the pigmented forms. Some are simple, whereas some are specialized; some have pseudopodia in addition to flagella, while others have no pseudopodia. One group engulfs solid food at any body point; another shows localized ingestive areas. All are colorless. They do not produce starch or paramylum, and lipids and glycogen are assimilation products. Cells are naked or have delicate membranes. Colony formation is common. Colonies differ greatly in form and may be amorphous, linear, spherical, arboroid, or planar. Flagella vary from none to many. Nuclei generally have endosomes; frequently, a rhizostyle extends from the nucleus to the flagellum base. Nutrition is holozoic, saprozoic, or parasitic, and encystment is common. Ecologically, zoomastigophoreans are adapted to waters of relatively high organic content, but they occur in the clearest freshwaters and in the high seas. Nine orders are included in this class: Bicosoecida, Choanoflagellida, Diplomonadida, Hypermastigida, Kinetoplastida, Oxymonadida, Retortamonadida, Rhizomastigida, and Trichomonadida. See also: Bicosoecida; Choanoflagellida; Diplomonadida; Hypermastigida; Kinetoplastida; Oxymonadida; Protozoa; Retortamonadida; Sarcomastigophora
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