Like other diplomonads, Giardia have two nuclei, each with four associated flagella, and lack both mitochondria and a Golgi apparatus. However they are now known to possess mitochondrial relics, called mitosomes. These are not used in ATP synthesis the way mitochondria are, but are involved in the maturation of iron-sulfur proteins. The synapomorphies of genus Giardia include cells with duplicate organelles, absence of cytostomes, and ventral adhesive disc.
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