DAO 127:125-136 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03188

Tetrahymena glochidiophila n. sp., a new species of Tetrahymena (Ciliophora) that causes mortality to glochidia larvae of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia)

D. H. Lynn1,4,*, F. P. Doerder2, P. L. Gillis3, R. S. Prosser3,5 

1Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
2Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115 USA
3Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington, ON L7S 1A1, Canada
4Present address: Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
5Present address: School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A ciliate protozoan was discovered whose presence coincided with a rapid decrease in the viability (i.e. ability to close valves) of glochidia of the freshwater mussel Lampsilis siliquoidea. Microscopic examination showed it to be a histophagous tetrahymenine ciliate. Small subunit (SSU) rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) barcode sequences from cultured cells showed that it belongs to the same new species isolated from water samples as a free-living ciliate. Phylogenetic analyses place this new ciliate in the same clade with the macrostome species Tetrahymena paravorax, and we propose the name T. glochidiophila n. sp. for this new species. The phylogeny provides further support for the hypothesis that histophagy was a life history trait of the ancestor of Tetrahymena.


KEY WORDS: Glochidia · Ciliate · Histophagy · Tetrahymena glochidiophila · Lampsilis siliquoidea · Freshwater mussel parasite


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Cite this article as: Lynn DH, Doerder FP, Gillis PL, Prosser RS (2018) Tetrahymena glochidiophila n. sp., a new species of Tetrahymena (Ciliophora) that causes mortality to glochidia larvae of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia). Dis Aquat Org 127:125-136. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03188

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