Morphological research on over 50 species of ciliates recorded as endosymbionts of echinoids suggests that invasion of the echinoid microhabitat occurred on at least 4 occasions. Gene sequence data confirm the phylogenetic distinctness of spirotrichean, armophorean, plagiopylean, and oligohymenophorean endosymbionts. It is also likely that oligohymenophoreans have repeatedly invaded the gut habitat. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced small subunit rRNA (SSrRNA) genes of 6 species representing the larger scuticociliate species found in the intestine of Strongylocentrotus pallidus from the northeast Pacific Ocean: Entodiscus borealis (Entodiscidae); Plagiopyliella pacifica and Thyrophylax vorax (Thyrophylacidae); and Entorhipidium pilatum, Entorhipidium tenue, and Entorhipidium sp. (Entorhipidiidae). SsrRNA genes were amplified by PCR, and sequences obtained in both directions. In all phylogenetic analyses, the scuticociliates are well supported as a clade. Entodiscus is distinct from these other echinoid taxa and is the sister taxon to the facultatively parasitic Uronema marinum. The other 5 echinoid species always form a clade whose basal species is the free-living Parauronema longum. The greatest genetic distance among these latter 5 species is less than 1.5%. This probably explains why the Thyrophylacidae and Entorhipidiidae are paraphyletic based on the SSrRNA gene sequences.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.