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Cercomonadida[edit | edit source]

''Cercomonas'' sp., a common genus within the Cercomonadida group.

Cercomonadida is a group of single-celled eukaryotes that belong to the kingdom Protista. They are characterized by their unique flagella and are commonly found in freshwater and marine environments. The group includes several genera, such as Cercomonas, Heteromita, and Paracercomonas.

Morphology[edit | edit source]

Members of the Cercomonadida group are typically small in size, ranging from 5 to 20 micrometers in length. They possess one or two flagella, which are used for locomotion. The flagella are often covered with fine hairs called mastigonemes, which aid in movement through water. These organisms also have a distinct feeding apparatus known as a haptonema, which is used to capture prey.

Habitat and Distribution[edit | edit source]

Cercomonadida can be found in a wide range of aquatic habitats, including freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds, as well as marine environments. They are often associated with organic-rich sediments and are commonly found in the benthic zone. Some species of Cercomonadida are also known to inhabit the guts of various organisms, including invertebrates and vertebrates.

Feeding and Reproduction[edit | edit source]

Cercomonadida are primarily heterotrophic organisms, meaning they obtain their nutrients by consuming other organisms or organic matter. They are known to feed on a variety of prey, including bacteria, algae, and other small protists. The haptonema plays a crucial role in capturing and engulfing prey.

Reproduction in Cercomonadida can occur through both asexual and sexual means. Asexual reproduction typically involves cell division, where the parent cell divides into two daughter cells. Sexual reproduction, on the other hand, involves the fusion of two gametes to form a zygote. This process allows for genetic diversity within the population.

Importance and Ecological Role[edit | edit source]

Cercomonadida play an important role in aquatic ecosystems as primary consumers, regulating the population sizes of their prey. They contribute to the cycling of nutrients by consuming organic matter and releasing waste products. Additionally, some species of Cercomonadida have been found to be bioindicators of water quality, as their presence or absence can indicate the health of an ecosystem.

Taxonomy and Classification[edit | edit source]

Cercomonadida is a taxonomic group within the kingdom Protista. It is further classified into several genera, including Cercomonas, Heteromita, Paracercomonas, and others. The classification of Cercomonadida is based on morphological and molecular characteristics, as well as genetic analysis.

References[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD