1887

Abstract

Pathogenic scuticociliates, which are common in the haemolymph or tissues of maricultured animals and often cause serious diseases, are a species-rich assemblage with mostly unresolved systematic relationships, especially in some less-studied groups. In the present study, we sequenced the small-subunit rRNA gene of six species of scuticociliates, , , , , and , the last two of which have not been studied previously using molecular analyses. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using Bayesian inference, maximum-likelihood and maximum-parsimony methods to assess the inter- and intra-generic relationships of scuticociliates. Results revealed the following: 1) did not cluster with the Philasteridae, Cohnilembidae or any other family of the order Philasterida; 2) sequences of and showed a difference of 1.02 % (15 nt sites), revealing a close relationship between them; 3) the approximately unbiased test rejected monophyly of both and , indicating that the terminal position of the anterior end of the paroral membrane and the structure of membranelle 1 are unreliable characters for distinction of genera in this group of scuticociliates; 4) grouped with , showing a close phylogenetic relationship between the orders Thigmotrichida and Pleuronematida; and 5) , and should be removed from their currently assigned genera.

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2012-01-01
2019-10-16
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