Phylogenetic Reappraisal of the Genus Monomorphina (Euglenophyceae) Based on Molecular and Morphological Data


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A morphological and molecular examination of the genus Monomorphina was conducted on 46 strains isolated mainly from Korea. The strains were divided into two types based on morphological data: Monomorphina aenigmatica and M. pyrum - like species. Phylogenetic analysis based on a combined data set of nuclear SSU and LSU and plastid SSU and LSU rDNA showed that the strains could be divided into eight clades: Clade A of M. aenigmatica, Clade B of the isolates (M. pyropsis) from Michigan, USA, Clade C of M. pseudopyrum, Clade D of the isolates (M. pyroria) from Bremen, Germany, Clade E of M. soropyrum, Clade F of M. pyriformis, Clade G of M. parapyrum, and Clade H of M. pyrum. Six of these clades came from strains that would be considered M. pyrum sensu Kosmala et Zakryś, one of which could be recognized as a traditional species (M. pyrum) and five were designated as new species; each species had unique molecular signatures at nr SSU rDNA helix 17 and 17′ and spacer E23_14′-E23_15. The species of Monomorphina had a wide range of genetic diversity with interspecies sequence similarity of 85.6%–97.1% and intraspecies similarity of 96.4%–99.9%. Our results suggested that genetic diversity found in the M. pyrum complex justifies the recognition of a minimum of eight species within this genus, based on specific molecular signatures and gene divergence of the nr SSU rDNA sequences.