Application of a Multiplex PCR with Specific PCR Primers for the Detection of the Genus Paramecium and the Paramecium aurelia Complex

Madlen Haentzsch,

Detlef Bernhard,

Thomas U. Berendonk,

Ewa Przyboś,

Martin Schlegel


The representatives of the genus Paramecium are well-studied ciliates and can be used in water quality assessment and the determinations of saprobic levels. For these applications, a clear and unambiguous identification of ciliate assemblages is essential, which is typically based on morphological characters requiring a sound taxonomic knowledge and experience in species determination including microscopic identification of both living and stained specimens. Therefore, we developed and applied specific PCR primers for the detection of species belonging to the genus Paramecium and the Paramecium aurelia complex. These primers were successfully tested with different Paramecium species including representatives of the P. aurelia complex as well as closely related species like Frontonia sp. and Tetrahymena sp. in both experimental and environmental samples. These primers can be used in a simultaneous approach achieving fast and reliable results with regard to determination of ciliate community and water assessment.

Słowa kluczowe: Multiplex PCR, Paramecium, saprobic level, species specific primers

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