Phylogeny of Six Genera of the Subclass Haptoria (Ciliophora, Litostomatea) Inferred from Sequences of the Gene Coding for Small Subunit Ribosomal RNA

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Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


The small subunit ribosomal RNA genes of nine species belonging to six genera of litostome ciliates, namely Amphileptus aeschtae, Chaenea teres, Chaenea vorax, Lacrymaria marina, Litonotus paracygnus, Loxophyllum sp.-GD-070419, Loxophyllum jini, Loxophyllum rostratum, and Phialina salinarum, were sequenced for the first time. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using different methods to assess the inter- and intra-generic relationships of haptorians, of which Chaenea, Lacrymaria, Litonotus, and Phialina were analyzed for the first time based on molecular data. Monophyly of the order Pleurostomatida was strongly confirmed, and the two existing families of pleurostomatids, created on the basis of morphology, were confirmed by molecular evidence. Within the Pleurostomatida, Siroloxophyllum utriculariae occupied a well-supported position basal to the Loxophyllum clade, supporting the separation of these genera from one another. Both the subclass Haptoria and the order Haptorida were partially unresolved, possibly paraphyletic assemblages of taxa in all analyses, creating doubts about the traditional placement of some haptorid taxa. The existing sequence of L. rostratum in GenBank (DQ411864) was conspicuously different from that of the isolate from Qingdao, China sequenced in the present work, indicating that they are different species. The isolate from Qingdao was verified as L. rostratum by morphological analysis, and the published morphology of existing GenBank record of L. rostratum is different from it. Based on both morphological and molecular evidence, the latter may be congeneric with an undescribed species of Loxophyllum from Guangdong Province, China.

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Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology





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