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Two Gonostomatid Ciliates from the Soil of Lombardia, Italy; including Note on the Soil Mapping Project

Bharti, Daizy, Kumar, Santosh, La Terza, Antonietta
The journal of eukaryotic microbiology 2015 v.62 no.6 pp. 762-772
Ciliophora, Parona, new species, nucleotide sequences, paddies, phylogeny, ribosomal DNA, soil, soil quality, soil surveys, Italy
Two gonostomatid ciliates, Gonostomum paronense n. sp. and G. strenuum, isolated from the soil sample of paddy field, Lombardia, Italy, were investigated using live observation and protargol impregnation. Gonostomum paronense n. sp. is mainly characterized by a tailed body, frontoventral cirri arranged in pairs, and presence of pretransverse and transverse cirri. Morphologically and morphometrically, the new species is similar to Gonostomum namibiense in having a tailed body and frontoventral cirral pairs; however, it differs mainly in the number of frontoventral cirral pairs (seven vs. three). Phylogenetic analyses based on the SSU rDNA sequences show that the new species is more closely related to G. namibiense than to G. strenuum, supporting the morphological classification based on the cirral pattern and the tailed body. However, due to the poor nodal support and absence of gene sequence of the type species Gonostomum, a more robust phylogeny of this group still remains unresolved. The biometric data of the Italian population of Gonostomum strenuum overlap with those from other known populations. Both species were collected from the industrial area of Parona, in the framework of the “Soil Mapping, Lombardia” project in which, for the first time in Italy, soil ciliates were used as bioindicators of soil quality.