Palpitomonas bilix represents a basal cryptist lineage: insight into the character evolution in Cryptista
Phylogenetic position of the marine biflagellate Palpitomonas bilix is intriguing, since several ultrastructural characteristics implied its evolutionary connection to Archaeplastida or Hacrobia. The origin and early evolution of these two eukaryotic assemblages have yet to be fully elucidated, and P. bilix may be a key lineage in tracing those groups' early evolution. In the present study, we analyzed a `phylogenomic' alignment of 157 genes to clarify the position of P. bilix in eukaryotic phylogeny. In the 157-gene phylogeny, P. bilix was found to be basal to a clade of cryptophytes, goniomonads and kathablepharids, collectively known as Cryptista, which is proposed to be a part of the larger taxonomic assemblage Hacrobia. We here discuss the taxonomic assignment of P. bilix, and character evolution in Cryptista.