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Borrowed from Ancient Greek οπίσθω- (opísthō-, hind-) + κοντός (kontós, pole) (in reference to the flagellum).



opisthokont (plural opisthokonts)

  1. (biology) Any of very many eukaryotes, including animals and fungi, whose flagellate cells (if any) propel themselves with a single posterior flagellum.
    • 2002: Michael Breitenbach, Reto Crameri, and Samuel B. Lehrer, Fungal Allergy and Pathogenicity, p211 (Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers; →ISBN (10), →ISBN (13))
      Based on a single posterior flagellum (opisthokont), flattened, nondiscoid mitochondrial cristae, a chitinous exoskeleton, storage of glycogen instead of starch, lack of chloroplasts, and the code UGA for tryptophan, not chain termination, in their mitochondria, Cavalier-Smith [54] suggests a common origin of the true fungi with animalia and choanoflagellate protozoa (fig. 1).
    • 2004: Joel Cracraft & Michael J. Donoghue, Assembling the Tree of Life, p68 (Oxford University Press (USA); →ISBN (10), →ISBN (13))
      However, these characters are only sporadically found among the various opisthokont allies (described above).
    • 2006: Laura Katz Olson & Debashish Bhattacharya, Genomics and Evolution of Microbial Eukaryotes, p13 (Oxford University Press; →ISBN (10), →ISBN (13))
      Although the group embraces taxa that are diverse in morphology and life history, cells of undisputed opisthokonts have a single emergent flagellum which projects behind the cells while they swim. This is treated as defining the opisthokont ancestry.


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