The cosmopolitan genus Euplotes is remarkable among ciliates for its species richness. To understand the still tangled taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships within the genus, small subunit rRNA sequences of 11 morphologically defined species colonizing different habitats were determined. Euplotes 18S rRNA is unique among ciliates for its anomalous length and high evolutionary rate. Phylogenetic reconstruction pointed to a high divergence between this genus and the other Spirotrichea, together with a high variability within the genus. Some of the relationships within the Euplotes group were also resolved. Data from the literature, based on morphological features, habitat, and symbiotic relationships, have been compared with our results and are critically discussed. In many cases, the molecular phylogenetic analysis disagreed with species relatedness established on morphological and ecological grounds. The occurrence of a radiation phenomenon in the evolution of the genus is postulated.

A molecular approach to the tangled relationships underlying phylogeny in Euplotes (Ciliophora Spirotrichea)

PETRONI, GIULIO;DINI, FERNANDO;VERNI, FRANCO;ROSATI, GIOVANNA
2002-01-01

Abstract

The cosmopolitan genus Euplotes is remarkable among ciliates for its species richness. To understand the still tangled taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships within the genus, small subunit rRNA sequences of 11 morphologically defined species colonizing different habitats were determined. Euplotes 18S rRNA is unique among ciliates for its anomalous length and high evolutionary rate. Phylogenetic reconstruction pointed to a high divergence between this genus and the other Spirotrichea, together with a high variability within the genus. Some of the relationships within the Euplotes group were also resolved. Data from the literature, based on morphological features, habitat, and symbiotic relationships, have been compared with our results and are critically discussed. In many cases, the molecular phylogenetic analysis disagreed with species relatedness established on morphological and ecological grounds. The occurrence of a radiation phenomenon in the evolution of the genus is postulated.
2002
Petroni, Giulio; Dini, Fernando; Verni, Franco; Rosati, Giovanna
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/72987
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