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Eur J Protistol. 2013 Jan;49(1):50-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ejop.2012.05.004. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Intraspecific differentiation of Paramecium novaurelia strains (Ciliophora, Protozoa) inferred from phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal and mitochondrial DNA variation.

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Department of Experimental Zoology, Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sławkowska 17, 31-016 Kraków, Poland.


Paramecium novaurelia Beale and Schneller, 1954, was first found in Scotland and is known to occur mainly in Europe, where it is the most common species of the P. aurelia complex. In recent years, two non-European localities have been described: Turkey and the United States of America. This article presents the analysis of intraspecific variability among 25 strains of P. novaurelia with the application of ribosomal and mitochondrial loci (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2, 5' large subunit rDNA (5'LSU rDNA) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) mtDNA). The mean distance observed for all of the studied P. novaurelia sequence pairs was p=0.008/0.016/0.092 (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2/5'LSU rDNA/COI). Phylogenetic trees (NJ/MP/BI) based on a comparison of all of the analysed sequences show that the studied strains of P. novaurelia form a distinct clade, separate from the P. caudatum outgroup, and are divided into two clusters (A and B) and two branches (C and D). The occurrence of substantial genetic differentiation within P. novaurelia, confirmed by the analysed DNA fragments, indicates a rapid evolution of particular species within the Paramecium genus.

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