TITLE

The "Tetrahymena pyriformis" complex of cryptic species

AUTHOR(S)
Simon, Ellen M.; Nanney, David L.; Doerder, F. Paul
PUB. DATE
February 2008
SOURCE
Biodiversity & Conservation;Feb2008, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p365
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Cryptic species are common among protists and have long been known in ciliates. The ciliate genus Tetrahymena contains a large group of morphologically indistinguishable species referred to as the 'T. pyriformis' complex. These species include those reproductively isolated by mating type as well as asexual species characterized by the absence of the germinal micronucleus. This paper examines the molecular diversity of the species and describes the biogeography of 'T. pyriformis' species. Most species are globally distributed, though the best studied species, T. thermophila, is confined to North America and gives evidence of population structure in local populations. Selfers and asexual species are common and arise from sexual species, a possible exploitation of nuclear dimorphism. It is argued that the cryptic species likely have different ecological roles and that the biodiversity of Tetrahymena in particular, and ciliates in general, is underestimated.
ACCESSION #
32925502

 

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