Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Two Trichodina (Ciliophora, Peritrichia) Species from Freshwater Fishes in China

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In the present study, we provide morphological and molecular characterization of two Trichodina species, T. acuta Lom, 1970 and T. funduli Wellborn, 1967, isolated from koi (Cyprinus carpio) and loach (Paramisgurnus dabryanus), respectively. Morphological characters of the two Trichodina species were mainly investigated on the basis of dry silver nitrate-impregnated specimens. Both species are medium-sized and possess well-developed denticles comprising strongly sickle-shaped blades, well-developed central parts, and straight rays. Trichodina acuta can be easily distinguished from the other Trichodina species that possess a clear central circle by the well-developed sharp blade apophysis, and the gap between ray tip and central circle. Trichodina funduli is a poorly known species that is easily confused with T. heterodentata Duncan, 1977, however the latter species has thinner denticles. The small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences of Trichodina acuta and T. funduli were incorporated into phylogenetic analyses. Our findings suggest that the phylogenetic lineage of trichodinids might not correspond with their living environments, host species or even some morphological characteristics.