The unitary nature of the chondriome of two species of trypanosomatids, Blastocrithidia culicis and Trypanosoma cruzi, has been demonstrated by utilizing serial thick-sectioning techniques combined with high voltage electron microscopy. Profiles of mitochondrial elements seen in thin sections and suspected to be parts of a continuum were confirmed by serial thick sectioning (0.25-0.50 mum thick) and stereopair analysis to be parts of the same mitochondrion. Three-dimensional models obtained from tracings of mitochondrial profiles on cellulose acetate reveal the mitochondrion of B. culicis to consist of a posterior mass with six tubular extensions extending upward and terminating in the anterior apex. The kinetoplast was found suspended between two of the tubular extensions, or less frequently, protuding as a nodule from one of the extensions. A bifurcation of one of the extensions was found in some specimens. The mitochondrion of T. cruzi consists of a triangular-shaped convoluted tubule, the base being the kinetoplast portion while the apex is directed posteriorly. The mitochondrion bifurcates behind the flagellar pocket, lateral to the kinetoplast, sending two entwined extensions into the tenuous anterior apex. Whether the mitochondrion of T. cruzi is unitary in the trypomastigote form was not determined in this study, since only epimastigote forms were used.

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