From Environmental Sequences to Morphology: Observation and Characterisation of a Paulinellid Testate Amoeba (Micropyxidiella edaphonis gen. nov. sp. nov. Euglyphida, Paulinellidae) from Soil using Fluorescent in situ Hybridization
High microbial diversity is revealed by environmental DNA surveys. However, nothing is known about the morphology and function of these potentially new organisms. In the course of an environmental soil diversity study, we found for the first time environmental sequences that reveal the presence of Paulinellidae (a mostly marine and marginally freshwater family of euglyphid testate amoebae) in samples of forest litter from different geographic origins. The new sequences form a basal, robust clade in the family. We used fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect the organisms from which these sequences derived. We isolated the cells and documented them with light and scanning electron microscopy. Based on these observations, we described these organisms as Micropyxidiella edaphonis gen. nov. sp. nov. The organisms were very small testate amoebae (generally less than 10 mu m) with an irregular proteinaceous test. This suggests an unknown diversity in testate amoebae, and calls for extending this type of investigations to other protist groups which are known only as environmental DNA sequences. (C) 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.