Two New Genera of Planktonic Ciliates and Insights into the Evolution of the Family Strombidiidae (Protista, Ciliophora, Oligotrichia).
ABSTRACT: Oligotrich ciliates are common marine microplankters, but their biodiversity and evolutionary relationships have not been well-documented. Morphological descriptions and small subunit rRNA gene sequences of two new species representing two new strombidiid genera, Sinistrostrombidium cupiformum gen. nov., sp. nov. and Antestrombidium agathae gen. nov., sp. nov. are presented, and their taxonomy and molecular phylogeny are analyzed. Sinistrostrombidium gen. nov. is characterized by a sinistrally spiraled girdle kinety and a longitudinal ventral kinety. Antestrombidium gen. nov. is distinguished by tripartite somatic kineties (circular and ventral kineties plus dextrally spiraled girdle kinety). Sinistrostrombidium and Antestrombidium branched separately from one another in phylogenetic trees, clustering with different clades of strombidiids. The new genera added to the diversities of ciliary patterns and small subunit rRNA gene sequences in strombidiids leads to presentation of a new hypothesis about evolution of the 12 known strombidiid genera, based on ciliary pattern and partly supported by molecular evidence. In addition, our new morphological and molecular analyses support establishment of a new order Lynnellida ord. nov., characterized by an open adoral zone of membranelles without differentiation of anterior and ventral membranelles, for Lynnella, but we remain unable to assign the genus to a subclass with confidence.
Project description:The two recently established genera Apostrombidium Xu et al., 2009 and Varistrombidium Xu et al., 2009 and the analysis of ontogenetic data in Strombidium constrictum, S. montagnesi, S. wilberti, Omegastrombidium elegans, and Paratontonia gracillima necessitated a revision of the hypothesis about the somatic ciliary pattern evolution in oligotrichid ciliates. As a consequence, the species-rich genus Strombidium was split, establishing two genera for species with a horizontal girdle kinety posterior to the oral primordium: Opisthostrombidium nov. gen. with the extrusome attachment sites along the anterior margin of the girdle kinety and posterior to the oral primordium and Foissneridium nov. gen. with the extrusome attachment sites distinctly apart from the girdle kinety and anterior to the oral primordium. The ontogenetic data revealed that the ?-shaped girdle kinety pattern evolved convergently from the Pseudotontonia pattern with its horizontal girdle kinety in the tailed genus Paratontonia and from the Novistrombidium pattern with its dextrally spiralled girdle kinety in the tailless genus Omegastrombidium. The somatic ciliary pattern of the latter genus probably gave rise to the patterns of Apostrombidium and Varistrombidium.
Project description:Using standard methods, we studied the morphology and ontogenesis of a German Leptopharynx costatus costatus. This population makes two morphs: microstomes with a size of 40 × 25 ?m, about 190 basal bodies, and 5 ?m wide oral basket; and macrostomes with a size of 55 × 40 ?m, about 264 basal bodies, and 15 ?m wide oral basket. Because the identity is threatened, this population is designated as the neotype of L. costatus costatus. Ontogenesis is complex due to the preoral kineties and the postoral complex produced by kineties 9 and 10. Stomatogenesis is mixokinetal: the opisthe membranelles 1 and 2 are formed by the oral primordium, whereas membranelle 3 is produced by the posterior portion of somatic kinety 1. The nasse kinetosomes are generated by the anterior portion of the oral primordium. Preoral kineties 1 and 3 develop de novo, while kinety 2 originates by intrakinetal proliferation of kinety 8; preoral kinety 4 is produced by the postoral complex, thus being a somatic kinety. Kinety 6 has two anterior kinetids in line with kinety 7. These observations require changes in the descriptive morphology, support the classification of Leptopharynx into the Microthoracidae, and sustain the nonmonophyly of the Nassophorea.
Project description:Cotterillia bromelicola nov. gen., nov. spec. was discovered in the tanks of the Mexican bromeliad Tillandsia heterophylla. Its morphology, ontogenesis, and 18S rDNA were studied with standard methods. Cotterillia has many cirral rows on both sides of the body. Uniquely, and thus used to diagnose the new genus Cotterillia, it has dorsal kineties originating de novo, producing neokinetal waves where the parental dorsal kineties reorganize to "combined rows", consisting of dorsal bristles anteriorly and of cirri posteriorly. Thus, up to four generations of bristles and cirri occur on the dorsal body surface. Cotterillia bromelicola has a gonostomatid body and adoral zone of membranelles, while the dense ciliature and the neokinetal waves resemble kahliellid hypotrichs. However, the de novo origin of anlage 1 and the molecular analyses show convincingly that Cotterillia belongs to the GonostomatidaeSmall and Lynn, 1985, for which an improved diagnosis is provided. Thus, neokinetal waves originated several times independently. The molecular differences between Trachelostyla, Gonostomum, and Cotterillia are small (? 5%) compared to their distinct morphologies and ontogeneses, suggesting that the 18S rDNA underestimates generic diversity. Our study emphasizes the need of combined morphological, ontogenetic, and molecular investigations to unravel the complex phylogeny and evolution of hypotrich ciliates.
Project description:Pollution after oil spill represents extreme habitat for survival and is a major concern for loss of species diversity in the affected area. In this study, we investigated soil samples collected from a petrochemical industry, Ulsan, South Korea. The soil was in the phase of recovery from the contamination of crude oil spill. Detailed investigation, based on morphology, ontogenesis, and molecular phylogenetic methods, resulted in discovery of a novel hypotrich ciliate, i.e., Metasterkiella koreana n. gen., n. sp., which is morphologically characterized by a semirigid body, undulating membranes in Oxytricha pattern, 18 frontal-ventral-transverse cirri with cirrus V/3 placed posteriorly, one right and one left row of marginal cirri, four dorsal kineties, two dorsomarginal rows, and caudal cirri at the end of dorsal kineties 1, 2, and 4. Interestingly, during ontogenesis, formation of three common anlagen for the proter and the opisthe and involvement of cirrus V/3 in anlagen formation was observed. The dorsal ontogenesis was typical of oxytrichids, i.e., simple fragmentation of dorsal kinety 3 and formation of dorsomarginal rows close to the right marginal row. The new species was found to be similar with Sterkiella subtropica, except for some minor differences in morphometry, and at gene level with only one base pair difference. In phylogenetic analyses, based on SSU rRNA gene sequence, M. koreana cluster in a clade away from Sterkiella species, which could be explained by the differences in the morphogenetic pattern between these two genera. It is proposed that S. subtropica probably belongs to Metasterkiella; however, we do not perform changes and wait for the reinvestigation of its morphogenetic pattern.
Project description:Symbioses between ciliate hosts and prokaryote or unicellular eukaryote symbionts are widespread. Here, we report on a novel ciliate species within the genus Zoothamnium Bory de St. Vincent, 1824, isolated from shallow-water sunken wood in the North Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea), proposed as Zoothamnium ignavum sp. nov. We found this ciliate species to be associated with a novel genus of bacteria, here proposed as "Candidatus Navis piranensis" gen. nov., sp. nov. The descriptions of host and symbiont species are based on morphological and ultrastructural studies, the SSU rRNA sequences, and in situ hybridization with symbiont-specific probes. The host is characterized by alternate microzooids on alternate branches arising from a long, common stalk with an adhesive disc. Three different types of zooids are present: microzooids with a bulgy oral side, roundish to ellipsoid macrozooids, and terminal zooids ellipsoid when dividing or bulgy when undividing. The oral ciliature of the microzooids runs 1¼ turns in a clockwise direction around the peristomial disc when viewed from inside the cell and runs into the infundibulum, where it makes another ¾ turn. The ciliature consists of a paroral membrane (haplokinety), three adoral membranelles (polykineties), and one stomatogenic kinety (germinal kinety). One circular row of barren kinetosomes is present aborally (trochal band). Phylogenetic analyses placed Z. ignavum sp. nov. within the clade II of the polyphyletic family Zoothamniidae (Oligohymenophorea). The ectosymbiont was found to occur in two different morphotypes, as rods with pointed ends and coccoid rods. It forms a monophyletic group with two uncultured Gammaproteobacteria within an unclassified group of Gammaproteobacteria, and is only distantly related to the ectosymbiont of the closely related peritrich Z. niveum (Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1831) Ehrenberg, 1838.
Project description:We investigated the morphology, phylogeny of the 18S rDNA, and pH response of Oxytricha acidotolerans sp. nov. and Urosomoida sp. (Ciliophora, Hypotricha) isolated from two chemically similar acid mining lakes (pH~2.6) located at Langau, Austria, and in Lusatia, Germany. Oxytricha acidotolerans sp. nov. from Langau has 18 frontal-ventral-transverse cirri but a very indistinct kinety 3 fragmentation so that the assignment to Oxytricha is uncertain. The somewhat smaller species from Lusatia has a highly variable cirral pattern and the dorsal kineties arranged in the Urosomoida pattern and is, therefore, preliminary designated as Urosomoida sp. The pH response was measured as ciliate growth rates in laboratory experiments at pH ranging from 2.5 to 7.0. Our hypothesis was that the shape of the pH reaction norm would not differ between these closely related (3% difference in their SSU rDNA) species. Results revealed a broad pH niche for O. acidotolerans, with growth rates peaking at moderately acidic conditions (pH 5.2). Cyst formation was positively and linearly related to pH. Urosomoida sp. was more sensitive to pH and did not survive at circumneutral pH. Accordingly, we reject our hypothesis that similar habitats would harbour ciliate species with virtually identical pH reaction norm.
Project description:Ciliates comprise a diverse and ecologically important phylum of unicellular protists. One of the most specious and best-defined genera is Euplotes, which constitutes more than 70 morphospecies, many of which have never been molecularly tested. The increasing number of described Euplotes taxa emphasizes the importance for detailed characterizations of new ones, requiring standardized morphological observations, sequencing of molecular markers and careful comparison with previous literature. Here we describe Euplotes curdsi sp. nov., distinguishable by the combination of the following features: 45-65 ?m length, oval or elongated shape with both ends rounded, narrow peristome with 25-34 adoral membranelles, conspicuous paroral membrane, double-eurystomus dorsal argyrome type, 6-7 dorsolateral kineties and 10 frontoventral cirri. Three populations of the novel species have been found in brackish and marine samples in the Mediterranean and the White Sea. We provide the SSU rRNA gene sequences of these populations, and an updated phylogeny of the genus Euplotes. Using the molecular phylogenetic tree, we inferred aspects of the biogeographical history of the genus and the evolution of its most important taxonomic characters in order to provide a frame for future descriptions. Ultimately, these data reveal recurrent trends of freshwater invasion and highlight the dynamic, yet convergent, morphological evolution of Euplotes.
Project description:The endemic Neotropical genus Gaujonia Dognin is revised. Morphological characters and a phylogenetic analysis demonstrate paraphyletic relationships among the species. Four different groups are interpreted to represent four different genera. The G. arbosi group is the only remaining clade in the genus Gaujonia, and the other groups have been arranged into three new genera: Millerana gen. nov., Oculicattus gen. nov., and Cicadoforma gen. nov. Additionally, two other genera Cicadomorphus gen. nov., and Gaujoptera gen. nov. were found using morphological and molecular analyses based on some specimens that were misidentified as Gaujonia spp. A total of five new genera, three new combinations (Cicadoforma vau-nigrum Hampson, comb. nov., Oculicattus renifera Hampson, comb. nov., and Millerana arbosioides Dognin, comb. nov.) and 21 new species (Cicadoforma ocelotus sp. nov., Cicadomorphus chicharra sp. nov., Cicadomorphus chuya sp. nov., Cicadomorphus falkasiska sp. nov., Cicadomorphus lilianae sp. nov., Gaujonia bichu sp. nov., Gaujonia chiqyaq sp. nov., Gaujonia kanakusika sp. nov., Gaujonia sourakovi sp. nov., Gaujoptera amsa sp. nov., Millerana austini sp. nov., Millerana cajas sp. nov., Millerana cundinamarquensis sp. nov., Millerana matthewsae sp. nov., Millerana tigrina sp. nov., Oculicattus boliviana sp. nov., Oculicattus brehmi sp. nov., Oculicattus inca sp. nov., Oculicattus raizae sp. nov., Oculicattus schmidti sp. nov., and Oculicattus uturunku sp. nov.) are established.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> The taxonomy of tintinnine ciliates is vastly unresolved because it has traditionally been based on the lorica (a secreted shell) and it has only recently incorporated cytological and molecular information. Tintinnopsis, the most speciose tintinnine genus, is also the most problematic: it is known to be non-monophyletic, but it cannot be revised until more of its species are studied with modern methods. <h4>Results</h4> Here, T. hemispiralis Yin, 1956, T. kiaochowensis Yin, 1956, and T. uruguayensis Balech, 1948, from coastal waters of China, were studied. Lorica and cell features were morphometrically investigated in living and protargol-stained specimens, and sequences of three ribosomal RNA (rRNA) loci were phylogenetically analyzed. The three species show a complex ciliary pattern (with ventral, dorsal, and posterior kineties and right, left, and lateral ciliary fields), but differ in lorica morphology, details of the somatic ciliature and rRNA gene sequences. Tintinnopsis hemispiralis is further distinguished by a ciliary tuft (a ribbon of very long cilia originated from the middle portion of the ventral kinety and extending out of the lorica) and multiple macronuclear nodules. Both T. kiaochowensis and T. uruguayensis have two macronuclear nodules, but differ in the number of somatic kineties and the position of the posterior kinety. Two neotypes are fixed for T. hemispiralis and T. kiaochowensis to stabilize the species names objectively, mainly because of the previous unavailability of type materials. By phylogenetic analysis and comparison with closely-related species, we infer that the ciliary tuft and details such as the commencement of the rightmost kinety in the lateral ciliary field are synapomorphies that may help clarify the systematics of Tintinnopsis-like taxa. <h4>Conclusion</h4> The redescriptions of three poorly known Tintinnopsis species, namely T. hemispiralis, T. kiaochowensis, and T. uruguayensis firstly revealed their ciliary patterns and rRNA sequences. This study expands knowledge and database of tintinnines and helps in identifying potential synapomorphies for future taxonomic rearrangements.
Project description:Recent study of the water scavenger beetle subfamily Acidocerinae in the Neotropical region has uncovered numerous undescribed species that are not able to be placed in existing genera. Here, we describe three new genera to accommodate 17 of these new species from South America: Aulonochares gen. nov. for Aulonochareslingulatus sp. nov. (French Guiana, Suriname), Aulonocharesnovoairensis sp. nov. (Brazil), and Aulonocharestubulus sp. nov. (Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela); Ephydrolithus gen. nov. for Ephydrolithushamadae sp. nov. (Brazil), Ephydrolithusminor sp. nov. (Brazil), Ephydrolithusogmos sp. nov. (Brazil), Ephydrolithusspiculatus sp. nov. (Brazil), and Ephydrolithusteli sp. nov. (Brazil); and Primocerus gen. nov. for Primoceruscuspidis sp. nov. (Venezuela), Primocerusgigas sp. nov. (Venezuela), Primocerusneutrum sp. nov. (Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela), Primocerusocellatus sp. nov. (Venezuela), Primoceruspetilus sp. nov. (Brazil), Primoceruspijiguaense sp. nov. (Venezuela), Primocerusmaipure sp. nov. (Venezuela), Primocerussemipubescens sp. nov. (Guyana), and Primocerusstriatolatus sp. nov. (Suriname). The genus Ephydrolithus gen. nov. is currently known to be restricted to seepages in the mountainous regions of the Brazilian Shield. Aulonochares gen. nov. and Primocerus gen. nov. are both currently only known from the Guiana Shield, though widespread in that region where they are associated with streams and seeps. We present differential diagnoses, maps, habitat details, and illustrations of all new genera and species here described.