Phylogenetic Position of Endosymbiotic Green Algae in Paramecium bursaria Ehrenberg from Japan


Department of Bio Science and Biotechnology Faculty of Science and Engineering Ritsumeikan University Noji Higashi 1-1-1 Kusatsu Shiga 525-8577 Japan E-mail:


Abstract: Endosymbiotic green algae of Japanese Paramecium bursaria were phylogenetically analyzed based on DNA sequences from the ribosomal DNA operon (18S rDNA, ITS1, 5.8S rDNA, and ITS2). Phylogenetic trees constructed using 18S rDNA sequences showed that the symbionts belong to the Chlorella sensu stricto (Trebouxiophyceae) group. They are genetically closer to the C. vulgaris Beijerinck group than to C. kessleri Fott et Nováková as proposed previously. Branching order in C. vulgaris group was unresolved in 18S rDNA trees. Compared heterogeneities of 18S rDNA, ITS1, 5.8S r, and ITS2 among symbionts and two Chlorella species, indicated that the ITS2 region (and probably also ITS1) is better able to resolve phylogenetic problems in such closely related taxa. All six symbiotic sequences obtained here (approximately 4000-bp sequences of 18S rDNA, ITS1, 5.8S rDNA, and ITS2) were completely identical in each, strongly suggesting a common origin.