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Dracomyxa pallida gen. et sp. nov.: A New Giant Freshwater Foraminifer, with Remarks on the Taxon Reticulomyxidae (emend.)

Wylezich, Claudia, Kaufmann, Danielle, Marcuse, Marlen, Hülsmann, Norbert
Protist 2014 v.165 no.6 pp. 854-869
Retaria, developmental stages, genes, isolation techniques, lifestyle, new genus, new species, phylogeny, ribosomal RNA, submerged aquatic plants, taxon descriptions
Reticulomyxids are organotrophic freshwater foraminifers typically placed within the radiation of early monothalamous Foraminifera. Though ubiquitous, reticulomyxids are rarely reported, which may be due both to their concealed life style and to inappropriate isolation techniques. Their taxonomic position is largely based on developmental stages of the life cycle. Here, we describe a new freshwater species, Dracomyxa pallida gen. nov. et sp. nov., isolated from submersed plant material. It has two possible life cycles including small cells, large plasmodia and encysted stages. Both types of development occur simultaneously in cultures derived from a single cell as well as in crude cultures. We amplified and sequenced a short sequence fragment of the 18S rRNA gene of the new isolate. Comparative phylogenetic analysis and molecular characterization indicate that it is a new reticulomyxid species, with Reticulomyxa filosa Nauss, Haplomyxa saranae Dellinger and Wobo gigas Hülsmann as the closest relatives. Unique features such as tripodal pediculated cysts and the lack of cleansing process justify the erection of a new genus.