Cercozoa are a highly diverse protist phylum in soils and in the phyllosphere of plants. Many families are still poorly described and the vast majority of species are still unknown. Although testate amoebae are among the better-studied protists, only little quantitative information exists on the morphology, phylogeny and ecology of cercozoan Rhogostomidae. We cultured four different strains of Rhogostoma spp. isolated from Arabidopsis leaves, agricultural soil and rhizosphere soil of Ocimum basilicum and Nicotiana sp. We describe Rhogostoma epiphylla sp. nov. and R. cylindrica sp. nov. and present their morphology, studied their food spectra in food range experiments and obtained two SSU rDNA gene sequences resulting in an updated thecofilosean phylogeny. Short generation times, desiccation resistance and the ability to prey on a wide range of algae and yeasts from the phyllosphere were seen as crucial traits for the phyllosphere colonization by Rhogostoma. In contrast, the soil-dwelling R. cylindrica did not feed on eukaryotes in our experiment.
Keywords: Algivorous; Cercozoa; Mycophagous; Phyllosphere; Rhizosphere; Rhogostomidae.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.