Acta Protozoologica

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Future prospects for investigating ciliate biodiversity

Publication date: 2022

Acta Protozoologica, 2022, Volume 61, pp. 35 - 46



Ľubomír Rajter
Phycology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
Eukaryotic Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
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Borong Lu
Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity & College of Fisheries, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China
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Erika Rassoshanska
Eukaryotic Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
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Micah Dunthorn
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Eukaryotic Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
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Ciliates have a long history of being central in evolutionary and ecological studies on eukaryotic microorganisms. Although thousands of species have been discovered, their total diversity still remains unknown. Here, we will discuss two unsolved problems that hinder the further exploration of ciliate diversity at the species level, and potential solutions to these problems are proposed. First, ciliate morphospecies are difficult to identify because the different silver stains are not scalable (they do not represent high-throughput methods) and basic supplies are lacking (e.g., protargol); a solution may be the development of fluorescent staining techniques. Second, ciliate phylogenetic species are difficult to identify because of extensive paralogy in nuclear-protein-coding genes; a solution may be to concentrate on sequencing mitochondrial genomes. These two approaches could be integrated into a high-throughput fluorescent-single-cell sorting and mitochondrial genomes sequencing process that would enable the observation and better understanding of ciliate species on a massive scale.


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Information: Acta Protozoologica, 2022, pp. 35 - 46

Article type: Original research article


Phycology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Eukaryotic Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity & College of Fisheries, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China

Eukaryotic Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Eukaryotic Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Published at: 2022

Article status: Open

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Ľubomír Rajter (Author) - 25%
Borong Lu (Author) - 25%
Erika Rassoshanska (Author) - 25%
Micah Dunthorn (Author) - 25%

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