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Abstract

The chonotrichs are sessile ciliated protozoa that are ectosymbiotic on the body parts of a variety of crustaceans. They have long been considered a separate group because their sessile habit has resulted in the evolution of a very divergent body form and reproductive strategy compared to free-living ciliates. In the mid-20th Century, the free-living dysteriid cyrtophorian ciliates were proposed as a potential sister clade because the chonotrich bud or daughter cell showed similarities during division morphogenesis (i.e. ontogeny) to these free-living dysteriids. A single small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene sequence is available for the chonotrich sp. However, its authenticity has recently been questioned, and the placement of this sequence within the dysteriid clade has added to this controversy. In this report, the SSUrRNA gene sequence of the chonotrich ectosymbiotic on the green crab is provided. Topology testing of the SSUrRNA gene phylogeny, constructed by Bayesian Inference, robustly supports the sister-group relationship of sp. and , the monophyly of these two chonotrichs, and the divergence of the chonotrich clade within the dysteriid clade.

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2016-08-01
2020-04-04
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