A morphological re-description of Ploeotia pseudanisonema, and phylogenetic analysis of the genus Ploeotia
Brooks, Andrew Buren
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The genus Ploeotia represents a group of small, colorless, heterotrophic euglenids commonly found in shallow-water marine sediments. Species belonging to this genus have historically been poorly described and studied. However, a Group I intron discovered within the small subunit ribosomal DNA gene of Ploeotia costata, makes P. costata the only euglenazoan known to possess an actively splicing Group I intron. This intron contains conserved secondary structures that indicate monophyly with introns found in Stramenopiles and Bangiales red algae. This project describes the internal and external morphology of a related species, Ploeotia pseudanisonema, using light and electron microscopy, and investigates the possibility of a Group I intron within P. pseudanisonema. Using recently obtained SSU rRNA sequences, we also examine the phylogeny of Ploeotia, and comment on the relationship of the genus Keelungia to Ploeotia.