Morphology, molecular phylogeny, and taxonomy of trichodinids (Ciliophora, Mobilida) from Calanoid copepods

Abstract

Trichodinid ciliates were isolated from calanoid copepods and were characterized by morphological and molecular techniques. The trichodinids found in this study were morphologically similar to Trichodina acuta, but morphometric differences were observed between our specimens and T. acuta. The T. acuta specimens, isolated from fish in several geographical locations around the world, were slightly larger than specimens in our population. In fact, our morphological and morphometric data are more similar to Trichodina diaptomi populations, also found on copepods. Moreover, our phylogenetic analyses revealed that the 18S rRNA gene sequence from our samples emerged in a clade with two T. acuta sequences, infesting fish hosts in China. These three sequences showed 100% identity. Our data, along with a taxonomic review, suggest that the species T. diaptomi, described recently, is actually a synonym of T. acuta and that this species may be related to fish and copepod hosts. In conclusion, we highlight the urgent need to better investigate the polymorphism and host specificity within the Mobilida, as this data may represent important characters to better understand the evolution into this order.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Ghazi Asmat and Dr. Maurício Martins for sending us important papers for taxonomic review, and MSc. Jéssica Andrade Vilas Boas for help in the sample processing.

Funding

Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) provided research grants to EJO Furtado and MVX Senra; Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) to F Cedrola and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnólogico (CNPq) to RO Marchesini and RJP Dias (PQ 310237/2018-1).

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Correspondence to Roberto Júnio Pedroso Dias.

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de Oliveira Furtado, E.J., Cedrola, F., Senra, M.V.X. et al. Morphology, molecular phylogeny, and taxonomy of trichodinids (Ciliophora, Mobilida) from Calanoid copepods. Parasitol Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-020-06741-0

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Keywords

  • Copepoda
  • Fishes
  • Synonymy
  • Trichodina acuta
  • Trichodina diaptomi
  • Trichodinidae