Parablepharisma (Ciliophora) is not a Heterotrich: A Phylogenetic and Morphological Study with the Proposal of New Taxa

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • P.H. Campello-Nunes - (Author)
  • N.M. Fernandes - (Author)
  • F. Szokoli - , Institute of Hydrobiology (Author)
  • S.I. Fokin - (Author)
  • V. Serra - (Author)
  • L. Modeo - (Author)
  • G. Petroni - (Author)
  • C.A.G. Soares - (Author)
  • T.D.S. Paiva - (Author)
  • I.D.D. Silva-Neto - (Author)


The genus Parablepharisma Jankowski, 2007 at present includes five species, most of which have not been studied in detail, therefore phylogenetic affinities remained uninvestigated up to now. Parablepharisma is traditionally placed within Heterotrichea based on insufficient existing morphological data, and there are no available Parablepharisma gene sequences in molecular databases to support this placement. This work presents an 18S rDNA-based phylogeny of P. bacteriophora (Kahl, 1932) Jankowski, 2007 and P. brasiliensis sp. nov. We also provide a redescription of P. bacteriophora and P. chlamydophorum (Kahl, 1932) Jankowski, 2007 based on live morphological observations combined with silver impregnation and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. According to characters such as macro- and micronucleus number, the position of the ectosymbiotic bacteria, and the presence/absence of caudal cilia, two new species are described, i.e. P. granulata sp. nov. and P. brasiliensis sp. nov. In addition, we establish Kahlium gen. nov. to include P. chlamydophorum, which has a segmented anterior paroral portion and a twisted posterior paroral section as diagnostic features. To include Parablepharisma and Kahlium gen. nov., we propose Parablepharismidae fam. nov. According to our phylogenetic analyses, Parablepharisma belongs to SAL (Spirotrichea, Armophorea, Litostomatea), being a sister group of Cariacotrichea. © 2020 Elsevier GmbH


Original languageEnglish
Article number125716
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

External IDs

Scopus 85079538319



  • Ciliophora, phylogeny, morphology, Parablepharisma, SAL.