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Morphology, Conjugation, and Postconjugational Reorganization of Dileptus tirjakovae n. sp. (Ciliophora, Haptoria)
- VĎAČNÝ, PETER, FOISSNER, WILHELM
- Journal of eukaryotic microbiology 2008 v.55 no.5 pp. 436-447
- Ciliophora, proboscis, vegetative cells
- We studied the morphology, conjugation, and postconjugational reorganization of a new haptorid ciliate, Dileptus tirjakovae n. sp., using conventional methods. Dileptus tirjakovae is characterized by two abutting, globular macronuclear nodules and scattered brush kinetids. Conjugation is similar to that in congeners, that is, it is temporary, heteropolar, and the partners unite bulge-to-bulge with the proboscis. Some peculiarities occur in the nuclear processes: there are two synkaryon divisions producing four synkaryon derivatives, of which two become macronuclear anlagen, one becomes the micronucleus, and one degenerates. Unlike spathidiids, D. tirjakovae shows massive changes in body shape and ciliary pattern before, during, and after conjugation: early and late conjugants as well as early exconjugants resemble Spathidium, while mid-conjugants resemble Enchelyodon. These data give support to the hypothesis that spathidiids evolved from a Dileptus-like ancestor by reduction of the proboscis. Dileptus tirjakovae exconjugants differ from vegetative cells by their smaller size, stouter body, shorter proboscis, and by the lower number of ciliary rows, suggesting one or several postconjugation divisions. Although 83% of the exconjugants have the vegetative nuclear pattern, some strongly deviating specimens occur and might be mistaken for distinct species, especially because exconjugants are less than half as long as vegetative cells.