The morphology, ontogeny and SSU rRNA gene-based phylogeny of Bistichella cystiformans spec. nov., isolated from the slightly saline soil of a mangrove wetland in Zhanjiang, southern China, were investigated. The novel species was characterized by having five to eight buccal cirri arranged in a row, three to five transverse cirri, four macronuclear nodules aligned, and 17–32 and 20–34 cirri in frontoventral rows V and VI, respectively, both extending to the transverse cirri. The main ontogenetic features of the novel species were as follows: (1) the parental adoral zone of the membranelles is completely inherited by the proter; (2) the frontoventral and transverse cirri are formed in a six-anlagen mode; (3) basically, the frontal-ventral-transverse cirral anlagen II–V generate one transverse cirrus each at their posterior ends, while anlage VI provides no transverse cirrus; (4) both marginal rows and dorsal kineties develop intrakinetally, no dorsal kinety fragment is formed; and (5) the macronuclear nodules fuse into a single mass at the middle stage. Phylogenetic analyses based on the SSU rRNA gene showed that the novel species groups with the clade containing Bistichella variabilis, Parabistichella variabilis, Uroleptoides magnigranulosus and two species of the genus Orthoamphisiella. Given present knowledge, it was considered to be still too early to come to a final conclusion regarding the familial classification of the genus Bistichella; further investigations of key taxa with additional molecular markers are required.
This paper investigates the morphology and infraciliature of three karyorelictean ciliates, Trachelocerca chinensis sp. n., Tracheloraphis dragescoi sp. n. and a rarely known form, Geleia acuta (Dragesco, 1960) Foissner, 1998, which were isolated from the intertidal zone of sandy beaches at Zhanjiang and Qingdao, China. Trachelocerca chinensis sp. n. is distinguished from related forms by having 26–30 somatic kineties, a narrow glabrous stripe and a single nuclear group composed of approximately four to six macronuclei and two micronuclei. Tracheloraphis dragescoi sp. n. can be recognized through its 14–22 somatic kineties, wide glabrous stripe and a single nuclear group composed of about four macronuclei. Phylogenetic analyses based on small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene sequences indicated that the genera Trachelocerca and Tracheloraphis are closely related but that neither of them appears to be a clearly monophyletic group. Nonetheless, the monophyly of Trachelocerca is not rejected by the approximately unbiased (AU) test (P = 0.143, >0.05), although that of Tracheloraphis is rejected (P = 0.011, <0.05). Geleia acuta, meanwhile, branched with Geleia fossata and falls in the Geleia clade.