Abstract

The euglenoids are unicellular eukaryotic flagellates living in a diversity of soils and aquatic environments and ecosystems. This study describes the ultrastructure of an euglenoid isolated from the surface of a boiling mud pool with temperatures ranging from 38 to 98°C and pH 2 - 4. The hot mud pool is located in Area de Pailas de Barro, Las Pailas, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The morphological characterization of the Euglena pailasensis was performed by SEM and TEM. It was determined that, although the euglenoid was obtained from an extreme volcanic environment, the general morphology corresponds to that of a typical member of Euglena of 30-45 μm long and 8-10 μm wide, with membrane, pellicle, chloroplasts, mitochondria, nucleus, pigments and other cytoplasmic organelles. E. pailasensis is delimited by a membrane and by 40 to 90 pellicle strips. It was observed up to 5 elongated chloroplasts per cell. The chloroplast contains several osmiophilic globules and a pyrenoid penetrated by few thylakoid pairs. The nutritious material is reserved in numerous small paramylon grains located at the center of the cell, mitocondria are characterized by the presence of crests in radial disposition toward the interior of the lumen. It was also observed around the external surface “pili” like filaments originating from the pellicle strips. There is no evidence for the presence of flagella in the ampulla (reservoir/canal area), a fact confirmed by negative staining, and a difference regarding other species of Euglena. The observed ultrastructural characteristics are not sufficient to explain the adaptation of this species to acid and hot environments
Keywords: protozoa, euglenozoa, euglenoid, euglena, ultrastructure, termoresistent, acid tolerant