ApplEnvMicrobiol_81_2433.pdf (2.46 MB)

Phylogeny of intestinal ciliates, including Charonina ventriculi, and comparison of microscopy and 18S rRNA gene pyrosequencing for rumen ciliate community structure analysis

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posted on 2023-05-03, 11:34 authored by Sandra Kittelmann, Savannah Devente, Michelle KirkMichelle Kirk, Henning Seedorf, Burk Dehority, Peter JanssenPeter Janssen
The development of high-throughput methods, such as the construction of 18S rRNA gene clone or pyrosequencing libraries, has allowed evaluation of ciliate community composition in hundreds of samples from the rumen and other intestinal habitats. However, several genera of mammalian intestinal ciliates have been described based only on morphological features and, to date, have not been identified using molecular methods. Here, we isolated single cells of one of the smallest but widely distributed intestinal ciliates, Charonina ventriculi, and sequenced its 18S rRNA gene. We verified the sequence in a full-cycle rRNA approach using fluorescence in situ hybridization and thereby assigned an 18S rRNA gene sequence to this species previously known only by its morphology. Based on its full-length 18S rRNA gene sequence, Charonina ventriculi was positioned within the phylogeny of intestinal ciliates in the subclass Trichostomatia. The taxonomic framework derived from this phylogeny was used for taxonomic assignment of trichostome ciliate 18S rRNA gene sequence data stemming from high-throughput amplicon pyrosequencing of rumen-derived DNA samples. The 18S rRNA gene-based ciliate community structure was compared to that obtained from microscopic counts using the same samples. Both methods allowed identification of dominant members of the ciliate communities and classification of the rumen ciliate community into one of the types first described by Eadie in 1962. Notably, each method is associated with advantages and disadvantages. Microscopy is a highly accurate method for evaluation of total numbers or relative abundances of different ciliate genera in a sample, while 18S rRNA gene pyrosequencing represents a valuable alternative for comparison of ciliate community structure in a large number of samples from different animals or treatment groups.


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© 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


  • English

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American Society for Microbiology

Journal title

Applied and Environmental Microbiology




Kittelmann, S., Devente, S. R., Kirk, M. R., Seedorf, H., Dehority, B. A., & Janssen, P. H. (2015). Phylogeny of Intestinal Ciliates, Including Charonina ventriculi, and Comparison of Microscopy and 18S rRNA Gene Pyrosequencing for Rumen Ciliate Community Structure Analysis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(7), 2433-2444. doi: 10.1128/aem.03697-14

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