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Keywords:

  • oral complex;
  • protargol;
  • phylogeny;
  • evolution;
  • Hymenostomatia;
  • Peniculia;
  • Scuticociliatia

Abstract

The process of stomatogenesis in peritrich ciliates is still incompletely understood. Previous studies on the stomatogenesis of four species of peritrichs, Telotrochidium sp., Carchesium polypinum, Opercularia coarctata, and Astylozoon pyriforme conflict with one another in some cases and omit details of events in others. We described the entire process of stomatogenesis in the peritrich ciliate Campanella umbellaria (C. umbellaria) using an improved method of staining with protargol. Our results disagree with some previous studies with regard to the formation of some rudimentary structures, reorganization of the parental haplokinety, formation of new germinal rows, and separation of daughter oral complexes. The pattern of stomatogenesis characteristic of peritrichs is compared to the stomatogenetic patterns of three other oligohymenophorean subclasses and a hypothesis about the evolution of stomatogenesis in the class Oligohymenophorea is offered. Details of stomatogenesis need to be described and verified in a greater variety of peritrichs to clarify possible differences between taxa and make it possible to relate stomatogenesis to evolution within the subclass Peritrichia. Ultrastructural studies are the next step in description of morphogenetic processes in peritrichs, and characteristics of C. umbellaria make it a useful model for this work. J. Morphol., 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.