A PCR-based method to distinguish the sibling species Stylonychia mytilus and Stylonychia lemnae (Ciliophora, Spirotrichea) using isocitrate dehydrogenase gene sequences.

The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology

PubMedID: 16968451

Haentzsch M, Schmidt SL, Bernhard D, Ammermann D, Berendonk TU, Schlegel M. A PCR-based method to distinguish the sibling species Stylonychia mytilus and Stylonychia lemnae (Ciliophora, Spirotrichea) using isocitrate dehydrogenase gene sequences. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2006;53(5):343-7.
A differentiation, based on morphological characters, between Stylonychia mytilus and Stylonychia lemnae is very difficult, especially for non-specialists. These two sibling species were considered as one species, S. mytilus, until detailed cytological and genetic studies could show the existence of two genetically isolated varieties. Further morphological and biochemical analyses verified the separation and finally in 1983 a new species S. lemnae was described. The examination of several isoenzymes revealed unambiguous differences in the banding pattern of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) between these two species. Therefore, the IDH gene of 30 isolates of S. lemnae and S. mytilus coming from various regions all over the world were amplified and sequenced. The sequence analyses revealed intraspecific as well as interspecific substitutions, which were used for the development of species-specific PCR primers for both species. Application of these species-specific primer pairs now allows a very easy and clear identification of both sibling species.