COI Barcoding of Nebelid Testate Amoebae (Amoebozoa: Arcellinida): Extensive Cryptic Diversity and Redefinition of the Hyalospheniidae Schultze

We used Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit 1 (COI) to assess the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy of Nebela sensu stricto and similar taxa (Nebela group, Arcellinida) in order to clarify the taxonomic validity of morphological characters. The COI data not only successfully separated all studied morphospecies but also revealed the existence of several potential cryptic species. The taxonomic implications of the results are: (1) Genus Nebela is paraphyletic and will need to be split into at least two monophyletic assemblages when taxon sampling is further expanded. (2) Genus Quadrulella, one of the few arcellinid genera building its shell from self-secreted siliceous elements, and the mixotrophic Hyalosphenia papilio branch within the Nebela group in agreement with the general morphology of their shell and the presence of an organic rim around the aperture (synapomorphy for Hyalospheniidae). We thus synonymise Hyalospheniidae and Nebelidae. Hyalospheniidae takes precedence and now includes Hyalosphenia, Quadrulella (previously in the Lesquereusiidae) and all Nebelidae with the exception of Argynnia and Physochila. Leptochlamys is Arcellinida incertae sedis. We describe a new genus Padaungiella Lara et Todorov and a new species Nebela meisterfeldi n. sp. Heger et Mitchell and revise the taxonomic position (and rank) of several taxa. These results show that the traditional morphology-based taxonomy underestimates the diversity within the Nebela group, and that phylogenetic relationships are best inferred from shell shape rather than from the material used to build the shell. (C) 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Published in:
Protist, 163, 415-434

 Record created 2012-04-26, last modified 2019-08-29

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