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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project


Biological Sciences


Chilodonella-Genetics, Chilodonella-Geographical distribution, Ciliata-Genetics, Microbial diversity, Ciliate, mtSSU r-DNA, Lyman Pond, Chilodonella uncinata, Morphospecies, Cryptic species


The temporal relationship of morphospecies and genetic diversity among microbial eukaryotes, especially within ciliates, is a largely unexplored topic. Ciliates are microbial eukaryotes that are characterized by the presence of cilia in at least one of their life stages and by their nuclear dimorphism (i.e. the presence of a somatic macronucleus and a germline micronucleus in each cell). Analyses of single cells of the morphospecies Chilodonella uncinata revealed multiple genetic haplotypes based on mtSSU-rDNA that vary in their distributions in local freshwater ponds. For example, a single predominant haplotype was found at one location but within a week's time, the dominant haplotype changed. We are now using DGGE to supplement single cell work as this approach allows us to capture a snapshot of the C. uncinata diversity. Preliminary results reveal that in addition to multiple haplotypes being present in an environment at one time point; there is greater diversity and abundance of C. uncinata during nighttime hours (12am-4am), than during daytime hours (8am-4pm). These data suggest considerable dynamics in the distribution of cryptic species of C. uncinata.




64 p. : ill. (some col.) Honors project-Smith College, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 34-37)