AskDefine | Define flagellate

Dictionary Definition

flagellate adj : having or resembling a flagellum or flagella [syn: flagellated, whiplike] n : usually nonphotosynthetic free-living protozoan with whiplike appendages; some pathogens of humans and other animals [syn: flagellate protozoan, flagellated protozoan, mastigophoran, mastigophore] v : whip; "The religious fanatics flagellated themselves" [syn: scourge]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. To whip or scourge.



  1. Form of Second-person plural imperative, flagellare#Italian|flagellare

Extensive Definition

Flagellates are cells with one or more whip-like organelles called flagella. Some cells in animals may be flagellate, for instance the spermatozoa of most phyla. Higher plants and fungi do not produce flagellate cells, but the closely related green algae and chytrids do. Many protists take the form of single-celled flagellates.

Form and behavior

Flagellates are protozoans (animal-like protists). Eukaryotic flagella are supported by microtubules in a characteristic arrangement, with nine fused pairs surrounding two central singlets. These arise from a basal body or kinetosome, with microtubule roots that are an important part of the cell's brain. In some, for instance, they support a cytostome or mouth, where food is ingested. The flagella often support hairs, called mastigonemes, or contain rods. Their ultrastructure plays an important role in classifying eukaryotes. Those that are searching this for a science class then try to find cilliates because they are teh same thing, just alot different.
In protists and microscopic animals, flagella are generally used for propulsion. They may also be used to create a current that brings in food. In most things, one or more flagella are located at or near the anterior of the cell eg Euglena. Often there is one directed forwards and one trailing behind. Among animals, fungi, and Choanozoa, which make up a group called the opisthokonts, there is a single posterior flagellum. They are from the phylum Mastigophora. They can cause diseases and they can make their own food. For example, Trypanosome which causes the African sleeping sickness.

Groups of flagellates

Flagallates Originally the flagellated protozoa were treated as a single class of phylum, the Mastigophora. This was divided into the Phytomastigina or phytoflagellates, which have chloroplasts or are closely related to such forms, and the Zoomastigina or zooflagellates, which do not. Most phytoflagellates were given a separate classification by botanists, treating them in several divisions of algae.
This scheme has generally been abandoned or is retained only for convenience. However, the relationships among the flagellates are still mostly unknown, and their higher classification is confused. Some argue that the Linnaean ranks are not appropriate for such a diverse set of organisms.
Phytoflagellates are found in most groups of algae. Both the green algae and heterokonts include a variety of flagellates in addition to non-motile and multicellular forms. The dinoflagellates, cryptomonads, haptophytes, and euglenids are almost entirely single-celled flagellates.
Many of the other flagellates make up what are called the excavate taxa. These include the euglenids and a number of important parasites, such as trypanosomes and Giardia. The excavates generally show similarities in the structure of their flagella and typically have a cytostome. However, they may be a paraphyletic group, and in particular may have been ancestral to most or all other eukaryotes.
Other notable groups including flagellates are the Cercozoa, alveolates (including dinoflagellates), ebriids, and Apusozoa.

External links

flagellate in Czech: Bičíkovci
flagellate in Danish: Flagellat
flagellate in German: Flagellaten
flagellate in Spanish: Flagelado
flagellate in Basque: Mastigophora
flagellate in French: Flagellés
flagellate in Indonesian: Flagellata
flagellate in Italian: Flagellata
flagellate in Dutch: Flagellata
flagellate in Japanese: 鞭毛虫
flagellate in Norwegian: Flagellater
flagellate in Polish: Wiciowce
flagellate in Portuguese: Flagelado
flagellate in Simple English: Flagellate
flagellate in Slovak: Bičíkovce
flagellate in Serbian: Бичари
flagellate in Swedish: Flagellater
flagellate in Vietnamese: Trùng roi
flagellate in Turkish: Kamçılılar

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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