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Mixotricha paradoxa

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Title: Mixotricha paradoxa  
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Subject: Coprophagia, Symbiosis, Excavata, Histiona, Dinenympha
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Mixotricha paradoxa

Mixotricha paradoxa
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Excavata
Phylum: Metamonada
Class: Parabasalia
Order: Trichomonadida
Family: Devescovinidae
Genus: Mixotricha
Species: M. paradoxa
Binomial name
Mixotricha paradoxa
Sutherland, 1933

Mixotricha paradoxa is a species of protozoan that lives inside the gut of the Australian termite species Mastotermes darwiniensis[1] and has multiple bacterial symbionts.[2] The name, given by the Australian biologist J.L. Sutherland, who first described Mixotricha in 1933,[3][4] means “the paradoxical being with mixed-up hairs”.


Mixotricha forms many symbiotic relationships. Like its relatives, including Trichonympha, it lives in the gut of termites and helps them digest cellulose, a major component of the wood they eat. Without Mixotricha, its host termites could not survive.

Mixotricha forms hydrogenosomes which produce hydrogen and small structures called mitosomes. [5]


According to Margulis and Sagan (2001), Mixotricha have five symbiogenesis. Hunt et al. (2001, 2002) also consider it a composite organism with five genomes.


  1. ^ Radek R, Nitsch G (November 2007). "Ectobiotic spirochetes of flagellates from the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis: attachment and cyst formation". Eur. J. Protistol. 43 (4): 281–94.  
  2. ^ Brugerolle G (October 2004). "Devescovinid features, a remarkable surface cytoskeleton, and epibiotic bacteria revisited in Mixotricha paradoxa, a parabasalid flagellate". Protoplasma 224 (1–2): 49–59.  
  3. ^ Jean L. Sutherland: Protozoa from Australian Termites. Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science, Band s2-76, S. 145-173. (Abstract)
  4. ^ L. R. Cleveland, A. V. Grimstone: The Fine Structure of the Flagellate Mixotricha paradoxa and Its Associated Micro-Organisms. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, Band 159, 1964, S. 668-686. doi:10.1098/rspb.1964.0025
  5. ^
  6. ^  

External links

  • Electron micrographs: [1] [2]
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