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Description of Paraphysomonas

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Chrysophytes, colourless, single-celled, flagellates, either free-swimming or attached to various substrates by a thin fibrous stalk extending from cell posterior; cells Spumella-like, but characterized by the presence of siliceous scales on cell surface; structural details of scales used for species identification (resolved only by electron microscopy); scales variously shaped, e.g. plate-shaped, of a three-dimensional open meshwork structure or extended into a spine (as in P. vestita); majority of species with a single scale type per cell (species with 2 or 3 different scale types also occurring); flagella 2, unequal; no chloroplast, but presence of an internal leucoplast demonstrated for several species; at least one species (P. caelifrica Preisig et Hibberd 1982) with a peripheral eyespot-containing leucoplast in close contact with a swelling on the short flagellum; cells also containing 1-2 contractile vacuoles, food vacuoles and vacuoles with storage product (probably chrysolaminaran); feeding via phagocytosis, with bacteria and other particles engulfed near the base of the flagella; asexual reproduction by division; sexual reproduction unknown; stomatocysts observed in some species; many species in freshwater, some in brackish and marine waters. Type species: Paraphysomonas vestita (Stokes 1885) de Saedeleer 1929.
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Description of Paraphysomonas amphiplana

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This name was mentioned by Autio et al. in 1990, but we have not been able to obtain a description available at this time.
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Description of Paraphysomonas capreolata

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Cells colourless, approximately spherical, 3.0-6.5 microns diameter. Two flagella , unequal; one 15-28 microns long, bearing tubular mastigonemes nbot visible by light microscopy (1.2-1.6 microns long, excluding terminal filaments), the other 3-5 microns long, smooth. Cells covered by numerous scales of usually two types, spine-scales and plate-scales. Spine-scales flared proximally, bearing distally a hollow spine, 0.2-0.6 microns thick. Spine broadens slightly and then bifurcates forming two 0.4-0.8 microns long sharp-pointed tips (spine length without basal part: 1.4-5.3 microns). Flared base more or less elliptical in outline in face view, 2.0-2.9 x 1.5-2.0 microns, with a thickened and upturned rim. Plate-scales flat or slightly undulate, elliptical or irregularly rounded, 1.8-3.0 x 1.3-2.4 microns, with a slightly raised and thickened margin.
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Description of Paraphysomonas circumvallata

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Cell spherical, approximately 6 microns in diameter (measurement based on whole mount of cell). Two unequal flagella; the longer about 8 microns long, with hairs (1.5-1.8 microns long, excluding terminal filaments); the shorter flagellum smooth, about 2.5 microns long. Cell body covered with numerous plate-like scales of one type only. Scales on the average 1.9 (1.5-2.2) microns long and 1.6 (1.3-1.8) microns wide. The two scale surfaces are very different; one side is almost flat and appears structureless, while the other side bears a ridge running regularly at a distance of about 0.15 microns from the scale periphery. The central part of the scale (within the ridge) sometimes appears slightly granular.
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Description of Paraphysomonas corynephora

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Cells colourless, approximately spherical, 2.0-5.5 microns diameter; with 2 flagella, unequal; one 3-17 microns long, bearing tubular mastigonemes (1.2-1.5 microns long, excluding terminal filaments), the other 1.5-3.0 microns long, smooth. Cells covered by numerous scales of two types, spine-scales and plate-scales. Spine-scales (up to 19 per cell) with a flared basal part, proximally 1.0-1.6 microns diam., with a slightly raised and thickened rim. Spine 0.4-2.0 microns long, hollow for 1/3-5/6 of its length then slightly narrowing to a solid terminal part which ends in a bluntly rounded knob-shaped tip, 70-100 nm diam. Plate-scales elliptical, flat or slightly bent, 0.8-1.7 x 0.6-1.3 microns, with a raised and slightly reflexed margin.
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Description of Paraphysomonas gladiata

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Cells colourless, approximately spherical, 3-8 microns diam. With 2 flagella, unequal; one 11-33 microns long, bearing tubular mastigonemes (1.3-1.5 microns long, excluding terminal filaments), the other 2-6 microns long, smooth. Cells covered by numerous scales, usually of two types. Both have un perforated flared basal parts, more or less elliptical in face view, 1.3-4.4 x 1.2-3.8 microns, with a slightly upturned margin. One scale type carries centrally a long gradually tapering hollow spine, up to 9 microns long, terminating in an acute tip. Second scale type with very short sharp spines. Cells sometimes bear only one of the two scale types or have scales of a somewhat intermediate or aberrant shape.
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Description of Paraphysomonas punctata

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Cell spherical, about 5 microns in diameter. Two unequal flagella: one approximately 15 microns long, with hairs (about 1.6 microns long excluding terminal filaments - but not visible by light microscopy) arranged in two rows; the other flagellum smooth and approximately 4 microns long. Cell body covered with scales of one basic form, The oval plate-like scales of the type specimen measure 1.8-2.3 x 1.3-1.7 microns. The scales have a structure less border (0.1-0.2 microns wide) and a central scale area which is differently ornamented on the two surfaces. On one side there is a very characteristic pattern of small knobs arranged along three sets of lines crossing each other at an angle of 60 degrees The other side is finely perforated by minute holes arranged along three lines crossing each other at an angle of 60 degrees.
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Description of Paraphysomonas stelligera

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Cells colourless, approximately spherical, 4-6 microns diam. Flagella two, unequal; one 12-22 microns long, bearing tubular mastigonemes (1.3-1.6 microns long, excluding terminal filaments), the other 2.5-4.5 microns long, smooth. Cells covered by numerous meshwork scales of one type. Each scale with an ovate, elliptical or rather irregular base, 1.1-1.8 x 0.8-1.5 microns, raised towards the centre and bearing ' a coronate superstructure, 0.7-1.2 microns high; 0.4-0.9 microns diameter proximally; 1.0-1.8 microns distally, which is separated from the base by a meshwork plate. Basal part with 50-100 apertures arranged in 3-5 more or less regular rings. Peripheral ring often consisting of somewhat smaller apertures which are delimited from the remainder by their slightly thickened inner edge. Central structure composed of 3-5 tiers of more or less regular hexagonal meshes. Distal edges of 7-11 topmost apertures thicker than the remainder and with a short protuberance at each apex, this thickening producing a 7-11-pointed regular star in face view.
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Description of Paraphysomonas subrotacea

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Cell body covered by scales of only one type. Each scale more or less circular and slightly concave, with a margin which is slightly buckled or curved downwards. The scales are perforated by 8-36 apertures, 7-19 of which form a peripheral ring. The apertures of the peripheral ring and occasionally some of the more central apertures are roughly keyhole-shaped giving the whole scale a rather irregular appearance.
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Description of Paraphysomonas takahashii

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Cell spherical, about 4 microns in diameter (measurements based on whole mounts of cells). Two unequal flagella; one about 17 microns long and with hairs (about 1.5 microns long, excluding terminal filaments); the other flagellum short (about 3.5 microns) and smooth. Cell body covered with meshwork scales of two types. Both types have baseplates which are uniformly perforated by minute apertures arranged in up to 6-7 concentric rings. The outermost ring of perforations is commonly delimited by more heavily silicified material. Scales carrying short central processes measure about 2.0 x 1.5 microns (1.6-2.5 x 1.2-1.7 microns); the central spiny process is 0.2-0.8 microns long. Base-plates of the large spine-scales measure about 2.2 x 1.4 microns (1.8-2.5 x 1.0-2.1 microns). The gradually tapering central spine, which is connected to the base-plate by means of a number of ridges, is 1.5-6.8 microns long. The maximum diameter of the spine is about 0.25 microns.
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