Broad Taxon Sampling of Ciliates Using Mitochondrial Small Subunit Ribosomal DNA
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Mitochondrial SSU-rDNA has been used recently to infer phylogenetic relationships among a few ciliates. Here, this locus is compared with nuclear SSU-rDNA for uncovering the deepest nodes in the ciliate tree of life using broad taxon sampling. Nuclear and mitochondrial SSU-rDNA reveal the same relationships for nodes well-supported in previously-published nuclear SSU-rDNA studies, although support for many nodes in the mitochondrial SSU-rDNA tree are low. Mitochondrial SSU-rDNA infers a monophyletic Colpodea with high node support only from Bayesian inference, and in the concatenated tree (nuclear plus mitochondrial SSU-rDNA) monophyly of the Colpodea is supported with moderate to high node support from maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. In the monophyletic Phyllopharyngea, the Suctoria is inferred to be sister to the Cyrtophora in the mitochondrial, nuclear, and concatenated SSU-rDNA trees with moderate to high node support from maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. Together these data point to the power of adding mitochondrial SSU-rDNA as a standard locus for ciliate molecular phylogenetic inferences.
11 - 09 - 2015
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