Morphology and phylogeny of three trachelocercid ciliates, with description of a new species, Trachelocerca orientalis spec. nov. (Ciliophora, Karyorelictea)

J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2015 Mar-Apr;62(2):157-66. doi: 10.1111/jeu.12154. Epub 2014 Aug 21.


Three trachelocercid ciliates, Trachelocerca orientalis spec. nov., Prototrachelocerca fasciolata (Sauerbrey, 1928) Foissner, 1996 and Tracheloraphis huangi Xu et al., 2011, isolated from marine coastal habitats at Qingdao, China, were taxonomically studied using observation in vivo and silver staining methods. The new species T. orientalis spec. nov. can be recognized by the combination of its size (600-1,200 μm in vivo), 15-21 somatic kineties and about 13 groups of macronuclear nodules forming a strand and the colorless globular cortical granules. Together with the sequence data of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene, the information of a new isolate of P. fasciolata and three populations of T. huangi is also documented based on the present work. According to the molecular data, the phylogeny of three species is estimated and the analyses show that they are all found within the trachelocercid assemblage though T. huangi does not cluster with its congeners but with Trachelocerca species. Nonetheless, the monophyly of Trachelocerca is not rejected by the approximately unbiased test (p = 0.345 > 0.05), while that of Tracheloraphis is not confirmed (p = 0.0002 < 0.05).

Keywords: Marine ciliates; SSU rRNA gene; trachelocercids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Ciliophora / classification*
  • Ciliophora / cytology
  • Ciliophora / genetics
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S / genetics
  • Ribosome Subunits, Small / genetics
  • Seawater / parasitology


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KJ609036