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The class Bolidophyceae includes a single genus Bolidomonas and two species (Bolidomonas pacifica and B. mediterranea) described from marine waters.

The Bolidophyceae was established by Guillou et al. (1999), as a new class of picoplankton isolated from both the equatorial Pacific and the Mediterranean Sea. One genus, Bolidomonas, and two species, Bolidomonas pacifica and B. mediterranea, have been described. Guillou et al. also proposed a subspecies of B. pacifica: B. pacifica var. eleuthra.

Bolidomonas pacifica swims differently than B. mediterranea, and their flagella are oriented differently with respect to one another (Fig. 1). B. pacifica swims in a consistently straight pattern, and the flagella are oriented at a 90° angle with respect to one another. In contrast, B. mediterranea demonstrates frequent changes in swimming direction, and flagella are oriented at a 180° angle with respect to one another.

Figure 1: The two flagella are oriented differently to one another in Bolidomonas mediterranea and B. pacifica. © J. Craig Bailey


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