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Reconstruction of Evolutionary History of Pleurostomatid Ciliates (Ciliophora, Litostomatea, Haptoria): Interplay of Morphology and Molecules

Publication date: 31.10.2014

Acta Protozoologica, 2015, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp. 9 - 29



Peter Vďačný
Comenius University, Department of Zoology, Bratislava, Slovakia
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Mann Kyoon Shin
Ulsan University, Department of Biological Science, Ulsan, South Korea
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Ji Hye Kim
Natural Science Research Institute, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, South Korea
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Seok Won Jang
Ulsan University, Department of Biological Science, Ulsan, South Korea
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Shahed Uddin Ahmed Shazib
Ulsan University, Department of Biological Science, Ulsan, South Korea
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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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Pleurostomatids are raptorial ciliates that form a very distinct group within the Haptoria. Traditionally, the order Pleurostomatida was divided into two families: the Amphileptidae with two perioral kineties and a suture formed by the right side ciliary rows, and the Litonotidae with three perioral kineties and without suture. However, molecular phylogenies depicted the “traditional” Amphileptidae as a paraphyletic assemblage nesting also the Litonotidae. To overcome this problem we have analyzed genealogy of pleurostomatids using morphological data and 18S rRNA gene sequences, including newly sequenced genera Acineria and Kentrophyllum. Specifically, we have combined a morphological and molecular approach and have used also some other phylogenetic tools such as phylogenetic networks, split spectrum analysis, quartet mapping as well as the likelihood method of tracing history of morphological characters. These analyses show that: (1) there are not two but three distinct pleurostomatid lineages – Epiphyllidae fam. nov., Amphileptidae and Litonotidae; (2) epiphyllids (Epiphyllum Kentrophyllum) represent a basal pleurostomatid group which is defined by two perioral kineties, by the presence of a suture on both the right and the left side of the body, by the loss of the oral bulge extrusomes, and by the extrusome fringe extending all around the body except for the oral region; (3) the families Amphileptidae and Litonotidae are monophyletic each, and represent sister groups; (4) Acineria belongs to the Litonotidae, as already indicated by morphological data; (5) Loxophyllum is a monophyletic and crown genus of the Litonotidae; and (6) Litonotus is paraphyletic, which could be very likely caused by a rapid radiation event that did not allow primary nucleotide homologies to be fixed.



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Received on 18th October, 2013; revised on 8th December, 2013; accepted on 30th December, 2013


Information: Acta Protozoologica, 2015, pp. 9 - 29

Article type: Original research article


Comenius University, Department of Zoology, Bratislava, Slovakia

Ulsan University, Department of Biological Science, Ulsan, South Korea

Natural Science Research Institute, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, South Korea

Ulsan University, Department of Biological Science, Ulsan, South Korea

Ulsan University, Department of Biological Science, Ulsan, South Korea

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

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

Published at: 31.10.2014

Article status: Open

Licence: None

Percentage share of authors:

Peter Vďačný (Author) - 16%
Mann Kyoon Shin (Author) - 16%
Ji Hye Kim (Author) - 16%
Seok Won Jang (Author) - 16%
Shahed Uddin Ahmed Shazib (Author) - 16%
Ľubomír Rajter (Author) - 20%

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