Molecular phylogeny of marine gregarines (Apicomplexa) from the Sea of Japan and the Northwest Pacific including the description of three novel species of Selenidium and Trollidium akkeshiense n. gen. n. sp

This study set out to bolster morphological and molecular datasets of marine gregarine apicomplexans. Gregarines were sampled from the Sea of Japan and Northwest Pacific from cirratuliform polychaetes (Acrocirridae, Cirratulidae, and Flabelligeridae), as well as sipunculids. Trophozoites (feeding stages) were gathered for identification using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Cells were also collected for molecular phylogenetic analysis using 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA. As a result, three new species of Selenidium, S. planusae n. sp., S. validusae n. sp., and S. pyroidea n. sp. were described, and additional morphological and genetic data were gathered for an existing species, S. orientale; and Trollidium was established as a new genus. Trollidium akkeshiense n. gen. n. sp. possessed a unique, unsymmetrical organization of microtubules running the longitudinal length of one side of the trophozoite, corresponding to a zig-zag pattern of epicytic (surface) folds, and a flicking pattern of movement. Phylogenetic analyses of 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA showed that these portions of the ribosomal operon are able to resolve some relationships among Selenidium, while other lineages including Trollidium akkeshiense n. gen. n. sp. appeared to be highly influenced by long branch attraction. High evolutionary rates along the ribosomal operon of gregarines may hinder this marker from resolving deeper nodes among early apicomplexans.
Source: Protist - Category: Molecular Biology Source Type: research

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