Mastigont system

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The Mastigont system is a series of structures found in several Protists such as thrichomonads and amoebae. It is formed by the basal bodies and several other structures composed of fibrils. Their function is not fully understood.[1] The system is studied and visualised mainly through techniques such as plasma membrane extraction, high-voltage electron microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, the cell-sandwich technique, freeze-etching, and immunocytochemistry.


The main structures that compose the Mastigont system include:[2]

  • the pelta-axostyle system, made of microtubules; it supports the cell axis and is involved in karyokinesis. The pelta is a microtubular structure that holds the flagellar canal.
  • The costa, a rootlet; it supports flagellar movements and provides an anchoring system for the nucleus and Golgi.
  • The parabasal and sigmoid filaments;
  • Other filaments.


  1. ^ Benchimol, Marlene (2010). The Mastigont System in Trichomonads 17. pp. 1–26. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-12863-9_1. ISSN 1862-5576. 
  2. ^ McKhann, Heather I., and Lorraine Olendzenski, eds. Illustrated Glossary of Protoctista: Vocabulary of the Algae, Apicomplexa, Ciliates, Foraminifera, Microspora, Water Molds, Slime Molds, and the Other Protoctists. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 1993.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Poirier, Thomas P., S. C. Holt, and B. M. Honigberg. "Fine structure of the mastigont system in Trichomonas tenax (Zoomastigophorea: Trichomonadida)."Transactions of the American Microscopical Society (1990): 342-351.
  • de Souza, Wanderley. "Structures and Organelles in Pathogenic Protists."Molecular Microbiology 5 (2007).
  • Margulis, Lynn, and Michael J. Chapman. Kingdoms and domains: An illustrated guide to the phyla of life on Earth. Academic Press, 2009.
  • Brugerolle, G (1991), Flagellar and cytoskeletal systems in amitochondriate flagellates: Archamoeba, Metamonada and Parabasala. Protoplasma 164: 70–90.