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LU Kaihui, LIU Weiwei, Alan WARREN, XU Yusen, ZHU Changyu, ZHAO Yan, YI Zhenzhen. Diversity of oligotrich ciliates (Ciliophora, Spirotrichea) in the northern coast of South China Sea as revealed in LSU rDNA sequences[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2020, 38(1): 156-167

Diversity of oligotrich ciliates (Ciliophora, Spirotrichea) in the northern coast of South China Sea as revealed in LSU rDNA sequences

LU Kaihui1, LIU Weiwei2, Alan WARREN3, XU Yusen1, ZHU Changyu1, ZHAO Yan4, YI Zhenzhen1
1 Laboratory of Protozoology, Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Subtropical Biodiversity and Biomonitoring, School of Life Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China;
2 Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China;
3 Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, United K ingdom;
4 College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
Although the taxonomy of oligotrich ciliates has been widely investigated, yet the species diversity remains poorly known. We newly designed a pair of oligotrich-specific LSU rDNA primers covering the 600-bp D1/D2 region, and it was effective for detecting oligotrich species. Using the primers, we constructed the cloning libraries to investigate the species diversity of oligotrichs in the northern coastal waters of the South China Sea. In total, 165 oligotrich sequences were obtained from five widely separated sampling sites. Sixty operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained at 99% similarity threshold, and low-abundance OTUs with no more than two sequences contributed most of these (about 78%). Our findings are consistent with previous morphological studies, Strombidium was found the most abundant and widely distributed genus in this area. In addition, the BLAST search in the NCBI database resulted in 95% OTUs matching with named oligotrich species in similarity below 99%. Therefore, oligotrich morphospecies diversity has been underestimated as low-abundance species, and the LSU rDNA oligotrich sequence database needs to be better promoted.
Key words:    diversity|low-abundance species|oligotrich ciliates|operational taxonomic units (OTUs)   
Received: 2019-01-24   Revised:
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