Indexed on: 10 Jun '18Published on: 10 Jun '18Published in: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Tetrahymena mitochondrial cox1 barcodes and nuclear SSUrRNA sequences are particularly effective at distinguishing among its many cryptic species. In a project to learn more about Tetrahymena natural history, the majority of >1000 Tetrahymena-like fresh water isolates were assigned to established Tetrahymena species with the remaining assigned to 37 new species of Tetrahymena, nine new species of Dexiostoma and 12 new species of Glaucoma. Phylogenetically, all but three Tetrahymena species belong to the well-established "australis" or "borealis" clades; the minority form a divergent "paravorax" clade. Most Tetrahymena species are micronucleate, but others are exclusively amicronucleate. The self-splicing intron of the LSUrRNA precursor is absent in Dexiostoma and Glaucoma and was likely acquired subsequent to the "australis/borealis" split; in some instances, its sequence is diagnostic of species. Tetrahymena americanis, T. elliotti, T. gruchyi n. sp., and T. borealis, together accounted for >50% of isolates, consistent with previous findings for established species. The biogeographic range of species found previously in Austria, China and Pakistan was extended to the Nearctic; some species show evidence of population structure consistent with endemism. Most species were most frequently collected from ponds or lakes, while others, particularly Dexiostoma species, were collected most often from streams or rivers. The results suggest that perhaps hundreds of species remain to be discovered, particularly if collecting is global and includes hosts of parasitic forms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.