Discovery of a new hypotrich ciliate from petroleum contaminated soil.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:Morphology and divisional morphogenesis of the hypotrich ciliate Apoamphisiella vernalis are investigated based on two populations from Brazil. Typical specimens of A. vernalis replicates its ventral ciliature from six fronto-ventral-transverse (FVT) anlagen independently formed for proter and opisthe, plus one or more short anlagen located between IV and V, which form surplus transverse cirri. Dorsal morphogenesis occurs as in typical oxytrichid dorsomarginalians, viz., with formation of three anlagen and fragmentation of the rightmost one. Dorsomarginal kineties are formed near anterior end of right marginal cirral row anlagen. Various anomalous specimens exhibiting more than two long ventral rows were found, which are explained by increasing the number of FVT anlagen and/or the number of cirri produced by anlagen. Comparative ontogeny and phylogenetic analyses based on the 18S rDNA reveal that Apoamphisiella vernalis is closely affine to North American and European strains of the Paraurostyla weissei complex. Their reduced genetic distances and conspicuous morphological variability show that both genera can overlap, which implies the necessity of re-evaluating the contextual relevance of some morphological characters commonly used for genus-level separation within hypotrich taxa.
Project description:A hypotrichous ciliate, Paracladotricha salina n. g., n. sp., was discovered in hypersaline waters (salinity about 80‰) from Qingdao, China. Its morphology and some major ontogenetic stages were studied and the phylogenetic position was estimated using standard methods. Paracladotricha salina is characterized by a flexible, more or less slender body (size 50-120 × 20-35 ?m), a gonostomatid oral apparatus, one short and two long frontoventral rows, four macronuclear nodules, almost completely reduced dorsal kineties 1-3, and a loss of several parts of the ciliature, namely, the slightly shortened ciliary row of the adoral membranelles, the paroral, and the buccal, the postoral and pretransverse ventral, the transverse, and the caudal cirri. The ontogenesis is rather simple: anlage II of both filial products and anlage III of the opisthe originate de novo, while anlagen IV and V are formed within the parental rows. This combination of features requires the establishment of a new genus, Paracladotricha, which is, according to the morphological data, closely related to Schmidingerothrix and Cladotricha. The small-subunit rRNA gene was sequenced, indicating that P. salina is, as also demonstrated by the oral apparatus, a member of the gonostomatids. We provide a first, vague hypothesis about the phylogenetic relationships of the Gonostomatidae, Cladotrichidae, and Schmidingerotrichidae. However, since molecular data of the type species of these higher taxa are lacking, their validity and relationships remain obscure.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Ciliated protists, a huge assemblage of unicellular eukaryotes, are extremely diverse and play important ecological roles in most habitats where there is sufficient moisture for their survivals. Even though there is a growing recognition that these organisms are associated with many ecological or environmental processes, their biodiversity is poorly understood and many biotopes (e.g. soils in desert areas of Asia) remain largely unknown. Here we document an undescribed form found in sludge soil in a halt-desert inland of China. Investigations of its morphology, morphogenesis and molecular phylogeny indicate that it represents a new genus and new species, Parasincirra sinica n. g., n. sp.<h4>Results</h4>The new, monotypic genus Parasincirra n. g. is defined by having three frontal cirri, an amphisiellid median cirral row about the same length as the adoral zone, one short frontoventral cirral row, cirrus III/2 and transverse cirri present, buccal and caudal cirri absent, one right and one left marginal row and three dorsal kineties. The main morphogenetic features of the new taxon are: (1) frontoventral-transverse cirral anlagen II to VI are formed in a primary mode; (2) the amphisiellid median cirral row is formed by anlagen V and VI, while the frontoventral row is generated from anlage IV; (3) cirral streaks IV to VI generate one transverse cirrus each; (4) frontoventral-transverse cirral anlage II generates one or two cirri, although the posterior one (when formed) will be absorbed in late stages, that is, no buccal cirrus is formed; (5) the posterior part of the parental adoral zone of membranelles is renewed; (6) dorsal morphogenesis follows a typical Gonostomum-pattern; and (7) the macronuclear nodules fuse to form a single mass. The investigation of its molecular phylogeny inferred from Bayesian inference and Maximum likelihood analyses based on small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequence data, failed to reveal its exact systematic position, although species of related genera are generally assigned to the family Amphisiellidae Jankowski, 1979. Morphological and morphogenetic differences between the new taxon and Uroleptoides Wenzel, 1953, Parabistichella Jiang et al., 2013, and other amphisiellids clearly support the validity of Parasincirra as a new genus. The monophyly of the family Amphisiellidae is rejected by the AU test in this study.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The critical character of the family Amphisiellidae, i.e., the amphisiellid median cirral row, might result from convergent evolution in different taxa. Amphisiellidae are not monophyletic.
Project description:Ciliated protists (ciliates) are extremely diverse and play important ecological roles in almost all kinds of habitats. In this study, two new hypotrichs, <i>Wilbertophrya sinica</i> n. g. and n. sp. and <i>Bakuella xianensis</i> n. sp., from China are investigated. <i>Wilbertophrya</i> n. g. can be separated from related genera mainly by the combination of lacking a buccal cirrus, pretransverse cirri, and caudal cirri, while possessing frontoterminal cirri. Analyses based on morphological and molecular data confirm the validity of the species, <i>W. sinica</i> n. sp., which is characterized as follows: body 50-115 μm × 15-35 μm <i>in vivo</i>; midventral complex comprises four or five cirral pairs only and terminates above mid-body; three frontal, two frontoterminal cirri, and two to four transverse cirri; about 15 macronuclear nodules; colorless cortical granules sparsely distributed. Another new species, <i>B. xianensis</i> n. sp., was isolated from a freshwater wetland and is defined as follows: body 115-150 μm × 40-65 μm <i>in vivo</i>; about 70 macronuclear nodules; dark-brownish cortical granules in groups; midventral complex comprises 8-12 cirral pairs forming a row that terminates posteriorly in mid-body region and two or three short midventral rows that are continuous with the row of midventral pairs; three frontal, four to six frontoterminal, and three to five fine transverse cirri; three bipolar dorsal kineties. Phylogenetic analyses based on small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequence data suggest that the new genus <i>Wilbertophrya</i> n. g. belongs to an isolated clade, which might represent an undescribed taxon at the family level, whereas <i>B. xianensis</i> n. sp. groups with several congeners and members of other related genera are within the core urostylids.
Project description:Neokeronopsis (Afrokeronopsis) aurea nov. subgen., nov. spec. was discovered in soil from the floodplain of a small river in the Krueger National Park, Republic of South Africa. Its morphology, ontogenesis, and 18S rDNA were studied with standard methods. Furthermore, we supplemented the data on N. (N.) spectabilis by reinvestigating the preparations deposited in the British Museum of Natural History. Neokeronopsis (Afrokeronopsis) aurea is a very conspicuous ciliate because it has an average size of 330 × 120 ?m and is golden yellow due to the orange-coloured cytoplasm and citrine cortical granules. Further main characteristics include the semirigid body; the urostylid cirral pattern with a distinct corona of frontal and pseudobuccal cirri both originating from the midventral rows; multiple anterior fragmentation of dorsal kineties 1-3; multiple posterior fragmentation of kinety 3, commencing with an unique whirl of kinetofragments; three caudal cirri; an oxytrichid/cyrtohymenid oral apparatus with polystichad paroral membrane and buccal depression; a single oral primordium developing along the transverse cirral row; and an oxytrichid 18S rDNA. These peculiarities are used to establish the new oxytrichid family Neokeronopsidae, the new subgenus Afrokeronopsis, and the new species N. (A.) aurea. Further, these features confirm the CEUU hypothesis, i.e., convergent evolution of a midventral cirral pattern in urostylid and oxytrichid hypotrichs; additionally, N. (A.) aurea is the first (semi)rigid hypotrich with cortical granules and the second one with midventral rows, breaking the granule and flexibility dogmas. These and other observations show that the phylogeny of the hypotrichs is full of convergences. Thus, only a combined effort of classical and molecular phylogeneticists will provide the data needed for a natural classification. Based on the CEUU hypothesis, the molecular data, and literature evidence, we suggest that midventral oxytrichids should be ranked as distinct families; accordingly, we establish a further new family, the Uroleptidae, which forms a distinct clade within the oxytrichid molecular trees. Neokeronopsis is possibly related to Pattersoniella because it has the same special mode of forming the buccal cirri and possesses a buccal depression found also in Steinia, a close relative of Pattersoniella. The large size and conspicuous colour make N. (A.) aurea a biogeographic flagship possibly confined to Africa or Gondwana, while Neokeronopsis (N.) spectabilis (Kahl, 1932) is an Eurasian flagship.
Project description:Present study, investigates a poorly known species of the genus Sterkiella, i.e., S. tricirrata, based on two populations isolated from soil samples collected from the Colfiorito Regional Park, Umbria Region, Italy and from the Silent Valley National Park, India. Both populations showed a highly similar morphology, however different ontogenetic pattern in between. The study confirms the validity of the species S. tricirrata which was considered to be a species within the Sterkiella histriomuscorum complex. The main ontogenetic difference between S. tricirrata and other species of the genus Sterkiella is the different mode of formation of anlagen V and VI of the proter in the former. In the phylogenetic analyses, Sterkiella tricirrata clusters with Sterkiella sinica within the stylonychine oxytrichids, in a clade away from the type species (Sterkiella cavicola) of the genus Sterkiella. The study highlights the importance of ontogenetic as well as molecular data in shedding light on the polyphyletic behavior of the genus Sterkiella. A detailed description of S. tricirrata based on morphology, ontogenesis and molecular phylogenetic methods is presented. Further, the improved diagnosis has been provided for the genus Sterkiella and the poorly known species S. tricirrata.
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:Pectinariidae is a family of polychaetes building unique ice-cream cone shaped sandy tubes. Pectinaria torquatasp. n. (Pectinariidae) is described from the coastal waters of the northern South China Sea. This new species can be distinguished from all other 25 recognized species in the genus by a combination of characters: 16 chaetigers; 26-32 cirri in the cephalic veil; 11-12 pairs of cephalic spines; uncini with major teeth arranged in two rows, each with 7-8 major teeth; presence of a dorsal posterior lobe on segments 2 and 20; 4-5 pairs of curved scaphal hooks; and an anal flap with a crenulated margin. A key to all recognized pectinariids in the South China Sea is provided.
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.