A well-defined clade of the Euplotes phylogenetic tree is represented by marine species characterized by a single-type dargyrome and ten fronto-ventral cirri. Three of them, namely Euplotes crassus, E. minuta and E. vannus, form a complex of closely related species of large use in experimental ciliatology. Despite morphometric and genetic analyses having substantiated their taxonomic separation, ambiguities still persist in strain assignments to one or another species. In addition to objective reasons intrinsic to significant overlapping of most morphological parameters, ambiguities also result from divergences (inherited from past literature) in deciding which of the two morphotypes, E. crassus or E. vannus, is characterized by a larger or a medium cell body size (E. minuta being clearly distinct by a smaller morphotype). By analysing nuclear SSU-rRNA gene and ITS region sequences from 37 strains, previously assigned to E. crassus, E. minuta and E. vannus based on conventional taxonomic parameters, we identified and used ITS autapomorphic point mutations to design three species-specific primers. In combination with an Euplotes-generic primer, they proved to be very effective in running polymerase chain reactions that produce amplicons of species-specific size that reliably resolve ambiguities in assigning strains to E. crassus, E. minuta or E. vannus.

Analysis of autapomorphic point mutations provides a key for the tangled taxonomic distinction of the closely related species, Euplotes crassus, E. minuta and E. vannus (Ciliophora, Euplotida)

Luporini, Pierangelo;Vallesi, Adriana
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

A well-defined clade of the Euplotes phylogenetic tree is represented by marine species characterized by a single-type dargyrome and ten fronto-ventral cirri. Three of them, namely Euplotes crassus, E. minuta and E. vannus, form a complex of closely related species of large use in experimental ciliatology. Despite morphometric and genetic analyses having substantiated their taxonomic separation, ambiguities still persist in strain assignments to one or another species. In addition to objective reasons intrinsic to significant overlapping of most morphological parameters, ambiguities also result from divergences (inherited from past literature) in deciding which of the two morphotypes, E. crassus or E. vannus, is characterized by a larger or a medium cell body size (E. minuta being clearly distinct by a smaller morphotype). By analysing nuclear SSU-rRNA gene and ITS region sequences from 37 strains, previously assigned to E. crassus, E. minuta and E. vannus based on conventional taxonomic parameters, we identified and used ITS autapomorphic point mutations to design three species-specific primers. In combination with an Euplotes-generic primer, they proved to be very effective in running polymerase chain reactions that produce amplicons of species-specific size that reliably resolve ambiguities in assigning strains to E. crassus, E. minuta or E. vannus.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/466592
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