Phytomonas (Euglenozoa: Trypanosomatidae): Phylogenetic analyses support infrageneric lineages and a new species transmitted to Solanaceae fruits by a pentatomid hemipteran.
A protozoan flagelate has recently been isolated from Amaranthus retroflexus. This plant grows near economically important crops in southeastern Spain, which are known to be parasitized by Phytomonas spp. The present study focuses on the characterization of the energy metabolism of this new isolate. These flagellates utilize glucose efficiently as their primary energy source, although they are unable to completely degrade it. They excrete ethanol, acetate, glycine, and succinate in lower amount, as well as ammonium. The presence of glycosomes was indicated by the early enzymes of the glycolytic pathway, one enzyme of the glycerol pathway (glycerol kinase), and malate dehydrogenase. No evidence of a fully functional citric-acid cycle was found. In the absence of catalase activity, these flagellates showed significant superoxide dismutase activity located in the glycosomal and cytosolic fractions. These trypanosomes, despite being morphologically and metabolically similar to other Phytomonas isolated from the same area, showed significant differences, suggesting that they are phylogenetically different species.