Acidocalcisomes of Phytomonas françai possess distinct morphological characteristics and contain iron

Kildare Miranda, Claudia O. Rodrigues, Joachim Hentchel, Anibal Vercesi, Helmut Plattner, Wanderley De Souza, Roberto Docampo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Acidocalcisomes are acidic calcium storage compartments described initially in trypanosomatid and apicomplexan parasites, and recently found in other unicellular eukaryotes. The aim of this study was to identify the presence of acidocalcisomes in the plant trypanosomatid Phytomonas françai. Electron-dense organelles of P. françai were shown to contain large amounts of oxygen, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc as determined by X-ray microanalysis, either in situ or when purified using iodixanol gradient centrifugation or by elemental mapping. The presence of iron is not common in other acidocalcisomes. In situ, but not when purified, these organelles showed an elongated shape differing from previously described acidocalcisomes. However, these organelles also possessed a vacuolar H +-pyrophosphatase (V-H+-PPase) as determined by biochemical methods and by immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies against the enzyme. Together, these results suggest that the electron-dense organelles of P. françai are homologous to the acidocalcisomes described in other trypanosomatids, although with distinct morphology and elemental content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Acidocalcisomes
  • Calcium
  • Elemental mapping
  • Phytomonas
  • Pyrophosphatase
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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