1887

Abstract

The genus was long assumed to be the most primordial taxon in the Stichotrichia [hypotrichs ()] based on its morphological features and was considered to be an intermediate between heterotrichs and the traditional hypotrichous assemblage. In order to evaluate the phylogenetic position of within the Hypotrichia, we sequenced the small-subunit rRNA gene and the alpha-tubulin gene for a Qingdao population of . Phylogenetic trees were constructed and compared to morphological and morphogenetic data. The results show that (i) is positioned near , both of which always form a sister clade to the assemblage including Stichotrichia, Hypotrichia, Oligotrichia and Choreotrichia, (ii) , which may represent an intermediate between heterotrichs () and the Stichotrichia–Hypotrichia complex, is probably an ancestor-like form of the latter group and (iii) in contrast to morphological characters, both molecular and ontogenetic data support the separation of from the hypotrichs (). Thus, might be placed in the class Spirotrichea at about subclass level, next to Phaconidiidia, Hypotrichia and Stichotrichia, which supports the establishment of a new subclass Protohypotrichia n. subclass within the class Spirotrichea, with characterizations including slightly differentiated somatic ciliature (i.e. cirri on the ventral side generally uniform and non-grouped, no clearly defined marginal cirral rows, ciliature on the dorsal side mixed with cirri and dikinetids, no clearly differentiated dorsal kineties) and a unique but intermediate morphogenetic pattern of cortical structures between Hypotrichia and Stichotrichia.

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2009-02-01
2019-12-11
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