Morphology, Morphogenesis, and Phylogeny of Urosoma caudata (Ehrenberg, 1833) Berger, 1999 (Ciliophora, Hypotrichia) Based on a Chinese Population

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We report the morphology and morphogenesis of Urosoma caudata (Ehrenberg, 1833) Berger, 1999 based on in vivo observation and protargol impregnation and provide an improved diagnosis of U.caudata based on previous and current work. Urosoma caudata differs from its congeners mainly by the combination of the following features: tail-like posterior end, colorless cortical granules, and two macronuclear nodules. Urosoma caudata shares most of theontogenetic features with its congeners: the oral primordium of the opisthe develops apokinetally, and the frontal-ventral-transverse cirral anlagen develop in five streaks. However, a unique morphogenetic characteristic is recognizable: the anlagen of three dorsal kineties occur de novo to the left of the parental structures differing from their intrakinetal origin in other Urosoma species. The first record of the 18S rRNA gene sequence for the species is also provided. Phylogenetic analyses based on 18S rRNA gene sequence data suggest that the genus Urosoma is a nonmonophyletic group.