|Orange elephant ear sponge, Agelas clathrodes, in foreground. Two corals in the background: a sea fan, Iciligorgia schrammi, and a sea rod, Plexaurella nutans.|
The unikonts include opisthokonts (animals, fungi, and related forms) and Amoebozoa. By contrast other well-known eukaryotic groups are often referred to as bikonts. Bikonts include Archaeplastida (plants and relatives), Excavata, Rhizaria, and Chromalveolata. These groups may have two flagella (although there are many exceptions).
The unikonts have a triple-gene fusion that is lacking in the bikonts. The three genes code for enzymes which make pyrimidine nucleotides. This must have involved a double gene fusion, a rare pair of events, which supports the shared ancestry of Opisthokonta and Amoebozoa.
- Cavalier-Smith T (2002). "The phagotrophic origin of eukaryotes and phylogenetic classification of Protozoa". Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 52 (Pt 2): 297–354. PMID 11931142.
- Cavalier-Smith, Thomas (2003). "Protist phylogeny and the high-level classification of Protozoa". European Journal of Protistology. 39 (4): 338–348. doi:10.1078/0932-4739-00002.