Morphological Redescription and SSU rDNA-based Phylogeny of Two Freshwater Ciliates, Uronema nigricans and Lembadion lucens (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea), with Discussion on the Taxonomic Status of Uronemita sinensis

Mingjian LIU,

Lifang LI,

Zhishuai Qu,

Xiaotian Luo,

Saleh A. Al-Farraj,

Xiaofeng Lin,

Xiaozhong Hu


The morphology and phylogeny of two poorly known species, Uronema nigricans (Müller, 1786) Florentin, 1901 and Lembadion lucens (Maskell, 1887) Kahl, 1931, were respectively collected from a eutrophic freshwater river in Shenzhen and an oligotrophic lake in Zhanjiang (both in southern China) and investigated using standard taxonomic methods. The sampled population of Uronema nigricans was characterized by a cell size of 30–40 μm × 12–20 μm in vivo, an elongated elliptical outline with a prominent apical plate, and 13–15 somatic kineties. The sampled population of Lembadion lucens was characterized by a cell size of 45–80 μm × 20–50 μm in vivo, 25–35 somatic kineties, five or six caudal kinetosomes with cilia about 20 μm in length, and a single right-positioned contractile vacuole. The small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA) of these species was sequenced and compared with those of their congeners to reveal nucleotide differences. The phylogenetic trees showed that the Shenzhen population of Uronema nigricans clusters with two other sequences under the name of “Uronema nigricans” (which are possibly misidentified) and then groups with Uronemita sinensis (Pan et al., 2013) Liu et al., 2016 with full support. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that genus Lembadion is monophyletic with full support provided by both Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood algorithms. Based on analyses of morphological and sequence data, Uronemita sinensis may represent a new genus between Uronema and Uronemita.

Słowa kluczowe: Ciliature, phylogeny, freshwater ciliate, SSU rDNA, Uronema nigricans, Lembadion lucens

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