Collecting Bits and Pieces - An Integrative Study on Marine Planktonic Ciliate


Sabine Agatha


Department of Biosciences, University of Salzburg

The dominating ciliates (Alveolata, Ciliophora) of the marine plankton belong to the Oligotrichea. This group of about 1.150 ecologically interesting protist species is in the focus of our integrative approach. We combine (i) taxonomy by describing new and insufficiently known species based on live observations, staining techniques, scanning electron microscopy, and barcoding, (ii) transmission electron microscopic investigations on phylogenetically significant cell structures, (iii) phylogenetic inferences, using all characters of the organisms and molecular markers, and (iv) an eDNA-based assessment of biodiversity and distribution. The studies are conducted with international collaboration partners from several disciplines in projects funded by the Austrian Science Fund (P28790 and I3268).