Meeting Abstract

P3.193  Friday, Jan. 6  Parotoplana hannahfloydae (Proseriata: Otoplanidae) from the Coast of North Carolina, USA BURSEY, JB*; GRAHAM, L; SMITH, JSIII; LITVAITIS, MK; Winthrop University; Winthrop University; Winthrop University; University of New Hampshire

Parotoplana hannahfloydae n.sp., a new turbellarian species of the family Otoplanidae was found in shoreline sediments collected from swash and shiny zones at low tide on Emerald Isle (Bogue Banks, NC) and near Long Beach (Oak Island, NC). Brightfield and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), as well as traditional serial sections were used to study the organism’s internal and external anatomy. P. hannahfloydae was golden brown with a peripheral translucent zone and an elongated oval body shape averaging 500 µm in length. The distribution of motile cilia is typical for the family—two lateral patches on the head and a ventral creeping-sole. P. hannahfloydae is just one of three very similar highly-active parotoplanine otoplanids from the sites above; all are presently undescribed. Data so far obtained on this new species place it into the genus Parotoplana; it differs from presently-known members of the genus by its post-pharyngeal germaria and unique stylet grouping consisting of a closed-circular group of eight winged stylets just anterior and dorsal to a half-circle wreath of eight hook-shaped stylets. A 408bp fragment of the 18s rDNA gene was obtained using universal primers, and aligned with selected proseriate sequences from GenBank and with other unpublished otoplanid sequences from our lab. Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian Inference (BI) trees suggest that both the Parotoplaninae (the subfamily to which our species belongs) and the genus Parotoplana are paraphyletic. Our new data on North Carolina otoplanids will contribute to elucidating evolutionary relationships within the family Otoplanidae. Support for this research was provided by SC INBRE and the Winthrop Research Council to JSIII and by the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station to MKL.