We report the morphological, biochemical and molecular characteristics of a trypanosomatid isolated from the flower of Cucurbita moschata. Although the trypanosomatid was isolated from a plant, the lack of recognition of Phytomonas-specific molecular markers based on spliced-leader and ribosomal genes as well as by monoclonal antibodies specific for Phytomonas argues against assigning it to this genus. Because the isolate displayed typical opisthomastigote forms in culture, it is assigned to the genus Herpetomonas. Analysis of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) patterns and characterization of ribosomal SSU and ITS markers suggest that it is more closely related to H. samuelpessoai than to any other species. However, the presence of spined flagellates in culture (displaying lateral expansions of the plasma membrane originating near the flagellar pocket) and isolate-specific RAPD fingerprints argue strongly that the trypanosomatid belongs to a new subspecies, for which the name Herpetomonas samuelpessoai camargoi n. subsp. is proposed.
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