Pseudocollinia brintoni gen. nov., sp. nov. (Apostomatida: Colliniidae), a parasitoid ciliate infecting the euphausiid Nyctiphanes simplex

Dis Aquat Organ. 2012 May 15;99(1):57-78. doi: 10.3354/dao02450.


A novel parasitoid ciliate, Pseudocollinia brintoni gen. nov., sp. nov. was discovered infecting the subtropical sac-spawning euphausiid Nyctiphanes simplex off both coasts of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. We used microscopic, and genetic information to describe this species throughout most of its life cycle. Pseudocollinia is distinguished from other Colliniidae genera because it exclusively infects euphausiids, has a polymorphic life cycle, and has a small cone-shaped oral cavity whose left wall has a field of ciliated kinetosomes and whose opening is surrounded on the left and right by 2 'oral' kineties (or ciliary rows) that terminate at its anterior border. Two related species that infect different euphausiid species from higher latitudes in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, Collinia beringensis Capriulo and Small, 1986, briefly redescribed herein, and Collinia oregonensis Gómez-Gutiérrez, Peterson, and Morado, 2006, are transferred to the genus Pseudocollinia. P. brintoni has between 12 and 18 somatic kineties, and its oral cavity has only 2 oral kineties, while P. beringensis comb. nov. has more somatic kineties, including 3 oral kineties. P. oregonensis comb. nov. has an intermediate number of somatic kineties. P. beringensis comb. nov. also infects Thysanoessa raschi (a new host species). SSU rRNA and cox1 gene sequences demonstrated that Pseudocollinia ciliates are apostome ciliates and that P. brintoni is different from P. beringensis comb. nov. High densities of rod-shaped bacteria (1.7 µm length, 0.2 to 0.5 µm diameter) were associated with P. brintoni. After euphausiid rupture, high concentrations of P. brintoni and bacteria cluster to form 3 to 6 cm long filaments where tomites encyst and transform to the phoront stage; this is a novel place for encystation. P. brintoni may complete its life cycle when the euphausiids feed on these filaments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ciliophora / classification
  • Ciliophora / isolation & purification*
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / genetics
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / metabolism
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Euphausiacea / parasitology*
  • Female
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Mexico
  • Phylogeny


  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Cyclooxygenase 1