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Description of Spiniferomonas

Single-celled, free-swimming, spherical to ovoid in shape, closely resembling Ochromonas, but characterized by the presence of siliceous scales and spines (these are clearly visible by electron microscopy only); scales plate-like, elliptical to oval or circular and variously patterned with ridges, lacunae and rods; some species with 2 or 3 different types of scales; scales and spines formed within flat vesicles which are intimately associated with cisternae of rough endoplasmic reticulum in the peripheral cytoplasm; two flagella, of unequal length; short flagellum with a basal swelling that is closely appressed to the cell surface underlain by the eyspot (if present); chloroplast single, parietal, sometimes bilobed; in S. bourrellyi occasionally with a small leucoplast in place of a chloroplast; eyespot at the anterior end of the chloroplast or lacking; cells also containing 1-2 contractile vacuoles, food vacuoles and a chrysolaminaran vacuole; reproduction not described; stomatocysts observed in a few species; some species widely distributed in freshwater lakes and ponds. Type species: Spiniferomonas bourrellyi Takahashi 1973.

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