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The Extraordinarily Rare Ciliate Legendrea loyezae Fauré-Fremiet, 1908 (Haptoria, Ciliophora).

Weiss, J., Andreou, D. and Esteban, G. F., 2022. The Extraordinarily Rare Ciliate Legendrea loyezae Fauré-Fremiet, 1908 (Haptoria, Ciliophora). Protist, 173 (6), 125912.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2022.125912


Diverse and dynamic communities of ciliates and other microbes thrive in the natural environment, driving the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Many microbes are present in very low numbers or are dormant in the ‘seedbank’, escaping detection in environmental surveys and, consequently, remaining underexplored. Here, we report an extraordinarily rare ciliate that was discovered after persistent exploration of freshwater anoxic sediments - Legendrea loyezae Fauré-Fremiet, 1908, a member of the Family Spathidiidae, Order Haptorida. In this study, we present the sixth account of the ciliate since 1908 and reveal its phylogenetic position with the first 18S rRNA data for the genus. We explain the key morphological features of the species, describing a remarkable behaviour in which the ciliate “shapeshifts'' due to its ability of controlled full extension and retraction of its tube-like tentacles. Our results shed light on the similarity of L. loyezae to another ciliate that was first described as Legendrea bellerophon, later moved under a new genus and named Thysanomorpha bellerophon. We question the validity of this taxonomic decision and, based on morphological characters and tentacle movement, we propose moving T. bellerophon back under Legendrea. This study demonstrates how continued and persistent exploration of natural habitats lead to the discovery of microbial communities and species.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Lacerus; Thysanomorpha; anaerobic ciliates; microbial diversity
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:37743
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:02 Nov 2022 05:58
Last Modified:02 Nov 2022 05:58


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