Ancoracysta twista

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Ancoracysta twista is a eukaryotic microorganism. It is a predatory protist that appears to be sister to or basal in the Haptista.[2]

Ancoracysta twista
Scientific classification
Alveidia Cavalier-Smith 2018[1]

J. Janouškovec et al., 2017
A. twista
Binomial name
Ancoracysta twista
J. Janouškovec et al., 2017


Ancoracysta twista was first described in November 2017 in Current Biology. It was found in a sample collected from the surface of a tropical aquarium brain coral. It actively feeds on Procryptobia sorokini, probably immobilising its prey through discharging a previously unknown type of extrusome named an ancoracyst.[2]

Genetic analysis shows that it is not closely related to any known lineage, but it may be most closely related to a grouping of haptophytes and centrohelids (Haptista). It is notable for having a gene-rich mitochondrial genome, the largest known outside the jakobids or Diphylleia rotans. Uniquely, it appears to contain both the nucleus-encoded holocytochrome c synthase system III and the mitochondrion-encoded bacterial cytochrome c maturation system I.[2]


A 2018 study from Cavalier-Smith, Chao & Lewis created a new subphylum and subsequent lower taxonomic ranks for Ancoracysta twista. They also created a new combination for Colponema marisrubri (Mylnikov & Tikhonenkov, 2009), which was shown to be ultrastructurally similar and phylogenetically close to A. twista, thus renaming it A. marisrubri.[1]


  1. ^ a b Cavalier-Smith, T.; Chao, E. E.; Lewis, R. (17 April 2018), "Multigene phylogeny and cell evolution of chromist infrakingdom Rhizaria: contrasting cell organisation of sister phyla Cercozoa and Retaria", Protoplasma, 255 (5): 1517–1574, doi:10.1007/s00709-018-1241-1, PMC 6133090, PMID 29666938
  2. ^ a b c Janouškovec J, Tikhonenkov DV, Burki F, Howe AT, Rohwer FL, Mylnikov AP, Keeling PJ. "A New Lineage of Eukaryotes Illuminates Early Mitochondrial Genome Reduction", Current Biology 2017, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.051

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