Wilhelm Foissner

Wilhelm Foissner
University of Salzburg · Department of Organismic Biology

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372
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Publications

Publications (372)
Article
The morphology and ontogenesis of two new hypotrich ciliates, Hemiholosticha solitaria and Hemiholosticha germanica, were studied using live observation, protargol impregnation, and scanning electron microscopy. Both species share a medium-sized, almost globular body with a short anterior projection; two macronuclear nodules with a single micronucl...
Book
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Foissner W. & Berger H. (Eds) (2021): Terrestrial ciliates (Protista, Ciliophora) from Australia and some other parts of the world. — Ser. Monogr. Cilioph. 5: i–xii, 1–380. The main chapter of the present work deals with ciliates found in soil samples from Australia and some other parts of the world, namely, Austria, Botswana, Brazil, Dominican Rep...
Article
We reinvestigated Pycnothrix monocystoides Schubotz, 1908 Schubotz, F., 1908. Pycnothrix monocystoides, nov. gen. nov. spec. ein neues ciliates Infusor aus dem Darm von Procavia (Hyrax) capensis (Pallas). Denkschr. (Pycnothrix monocystoides, nov. gen. nov. spec., a new ciliate from the gut of Procavia (Hyrax) capensis (Pallas). In German). Med. Nat...
Article
The morphology, ontogenesis, conjugation, and phylogenetic position of Metopus boletus nov. spec. were studied using live observation, various silver impregnation methods, scanning electron microscopy, morphometry, and the 18S rRNA gene sequence. The new species is outstanding in having a mushroom-like appearance; a globular to broadly ellipsoid ma...
Article
We critically re-analyzed the 18S rRNA gene phylogeny of the ciliate class Colpodea where four main lineages have been recognized: (1) Bursariomorphida including bryometopids, (2) Platyophryida including sorogenids, (3) Cyrtolophosidida, and (4) Colpodida including bryophryids and grossglockneriids. The Platyophryida branched off first and the Cyrt...
Article
Members of the class Armophorea occur in microaerophilic and anaerobic habitats, including the digestive tract of invertebrates and vertebrates. Phylogenetic kinships of metopid and clevelandellid armophoreans conflict with traditional morphology‐based classifications. To reconcile their relationships and understand their morphological evolution an...
Book
Full-text available
Organized and sponsored by the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw, with the assistance of the Committee on Cell Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences (Member of ECBO) and the Protozoological Section of the Polish Zoological Society on behalf of the International Commission of Protozoology.
Chapter
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Austria takes a special status in the international research on ciliates. Wilhelm Foissner, one of the most experienced and productive taxonomists, and his working group made Austria to a hotspot of ciliate-diversity research (Aescht & Berger 2008a, b, Aescht 2008, Berger & Al-Rasheid 2008). In addition, a natural monument (“Krauthügel”) expressly...
Article
The morphology and morphogenesis of a new Australian metopid ciliate, Lepidometopus platycephalus nov. gen., nov. spec., were studied using live observation, various silver impregnation methods, scanning electron microscopy, and morphometry. The new genus is outstanding in having epicortical scales (lepidosomes) and a strongly flattened and distinc...
Article
Six metopid ciliates from soil of the Murray River floodplain in Australia were studied using live observation, various silver impregnation methods, scanning electron microscopy, and multivariate statistics. One of the species is affiliated with M. setosus while the others represent new taxa. Metopus filum nov. spec. is distinguished from most cong...
Article
When the activated sludge process was developed, operators and scientists soon recognized protists as valuable indicators. However, only when Curds et al. (1968) showed with a few photographs the need of ciliates for a clear plant effluent, sewage protistology began to bloom but was limited by the need of species identification. Still, this is a ma...
Article
Using standard methods, I describe Heterometopus meisterfeldi nov. gen., nov. spec., a new armophorean ciliate from dry soil of the bed of the Fogg Dam in northern Australia. It appeared in the non-flooded Petri dish culture three weeks after soil re-wetting, i.e., when the bottom zone of the culture became anaerobic. The new genus is characterized...
Book
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Recopilación de ponencias sobre fangos activos ocurridas en las Jornadas de GBS de 2014 en ocasión de la celebración de los 100 años de fangos activos.
Article
Full-text available
Using standard methods, we describe three new microthoracids. Drepanomonas minuta nov. spec. is characterized by a small size (in vivo about 22 × 11 μm) and a curious distribution pattern of the extrusomes, viz., only one trichocyst each in mid of dorsal margin and near posterior end of ventral side. Body size and shape of D. minuta highly resemble...
Article
We studied morphometrical variation, species boundaries, and importance of morphometric features for a reliable separation of five African Semispathidium taxa. Altogether, 20 features traditionally used in alpha-taxonomy of the predatory genus Semispathidium were measured or scored on 85 protargol-impregnated interphase specimens, and were analyzed...
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Article
We describe a new species, Semispathidium breviarmatum sp. n., from tropical Africa and analyse its phylogenetic position within the subclass Haptoria, using live observation, various silver impregnation methods, SEM and the 18S rRNA gene. Semispathidium breviarmatum differs from its congeners by the much higher number of ciliary rows and by the sh...
Article
The identification of species within the genus Tetrahymena is known to be difficult due to their essentially identical morphology, the occurrence of cryptic and sibling species and the phenotypic plasticity associated with the polymorphic life cycle of some species. We have combined morphology and molecular biology to describe Tetrahymena aquasubte...
Article
Glaucomides bromelicola n. gen., n. sp. is a tetrahymenid ciliate common in tank bromeliads of Central and South America. The new genus is characterized by having a kinety fragment along the left mouth margin, an unciliated dorsolateral area, a tetrahymenid silverline pattern, and the ability to produce macrostomes when bacterial food is depleted....
Article
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In their monograph of the dileptids, Vďačný and Foissner (2012) could not clarify the type species of the genus Dileptus Dujardin, 1841. Thus, they suggested to refer the problem to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. However, recently we discovered that Dujardin (1841) has originally typified Dileptus with Amphileptus anser se...
Article
The Haptoria are free-living predatory ciliates living in terrestrial and aquatic habitats all around the world. They belong to a highly diverse class, Litostomatea, whose morphological and molecular classifications harmonize poorly since both approaches produce rather different frameworks. In the present study, we analyzed the genealogy of the lit...
Article
Soil protozoa include naked amebae, testate amebae, flagellates, ciliates, microsporidia, and sporozoans. So far, about 1600 species have been recorded from soil, many of which have special adaptations to the soil environment. Very likely, the true number of soil protozoa is much higher, that is 4000 or more species. Depending on soil, the number o...
Article
Full-text available
The class Litostomatea is a highly diverse ciliate taxon comprising hundreds of free-living and endocommensal species. However, their traditional morphology-based classification conflicts with 18S rRNA gene phylogenies indicating (1) a deep bifurcation of the Litostomatea into Rhynchostomatia and Haptoria+Trichostomatia, and (2) body polarization a...
Article
Full-text available
While the diversity and distribution of macro-organisms living in phytotelmata (plant-container habitats) is well known, detailed taxonomic work on micro-organisms living in the same environments is limited. As a model clade of microbial eukaryotes, sampling of ciliates in Neotropical bromeliad tanks increased, and Neotropical phytotelmata such as...
Article
Full-text available
Schmidingerothrix extraordinaria nov. gen., nov. spec. was discovered in hypersaline soils from Namibia and Egypt. Its morphology and ontogenesis were studied with standard methods. Schmidingerothrix extraordinaria is a highly flexible, slender hypotrich with an average size of 90 × 15 μm. Likely, it prefers a salinity around 100‰ and feeds mainly...
Article
Full-text available
The majority of environmental micro-organisms identified with the rRNA approach have never been visualized. Thus, their reliable classification and taxonomic assignment is often difficult or even impossible. In our preliminary 18S rRNA gene sequencing work from the world's largest anoxic marine environment, the Cariaco Basin (Caribbean Sea, Venezue...
Article
Full-text available
Dileptid and tracheliid ciliates have been traditionally classified within the subclass Haptoria of the class Litostomatea. However, their phylogenetic position among haptorians has been controversial and indicated that they may play a key role in understanding litostomatean evolution. In order to reconstruct the evolutionary history of dileptids a...
Article
Using morphological, morphometrical, and molecular methods, we describe Leptopharynx bromelicola n. sp. from tank bromeliads of Jamaica. We add significant data to Leptopharynx costatus and briefly characterize and review the genus Leptopharynx Mermod, 1914, including four new combinations. Nine species can be distinguished when applying the follow...
Article
The class Litostomatea is a highly diverse ciliate taxon comprising hundreds of species ranging from aerobic, free-living predators to anaerobic endocommensals. This is traditionally reflected by classifying the Litostomatea into the subclasses Haptoria and Trichostomatia. The morphological classifications of the Haptoria conflict with the molecula...
Article
Introduction While the distribution of flowering plants and larger animals is easy to determine, this is almost impossible in microorganisms, which are smaller than human beings by a factor of 1.8 x 106, assuming an average size of 100 µm and 180 cm, respectively. Thus, the subject has been searched with varied success and in heated debates (Foissn...
Article
Based solely on the localization of the cytostome, Cavalier-Smith (2004) divided the ciliate subphylum Intramacronucleata into three infraphyla: the Spirotrichia, including Armophorea and Spirotrichea; the Rhabdophora, containing exclusively Litostomatea; and the Ventrata, comprising the remaining six intramacronucleate classes. This scheme is supp...
Article
Bromeliothrix metopoides was discovered in tank bromeliads from Central and South America. Pure cultures could be established in various media stimulating growth of its food, i.e. bacteria and heterotrophic flagellates of the genus Polytomella. The new ciliate was investigated in the light- and scanning electron microscope, with various silver impr...
Article
Ciliated protozoa from the giant rosettes of Espeletia trees (Compositae) and Espeletia soils were studied in four samples each from the Andean PÝramo in Venezuela and Ecuador. Collections were analysed with the non-flooded Petri dish method, which reactivates the ciliates' resting cysts from air-dried samples. Species were identified by live obser...
Article
Using standard methods, we describe two new Semispathidium species from semiterrestrial habitats of tropical Africa and central Europe. Semispathidium fraterculum nov. spec. and S. pulchrum nov. spec. differ from each other and from two Namibian (Southwest African) congeners by body size, the shape and location of the extrusomes; the shape of the m...
Article
Maryna umbrellata (Gelei, 1950) Foissner, 1993 is a colpodid ciliate common in ephemeral water bodies. Pure cultures were established and the resting cyst studied by light and electron microscopy, protease digestion of thin sections, and various cytochemical reactions shown by colour micrographs. The cyst of M. umbrellata belongs to the kinetosome-...
Article
Dileptids are haptorid ciliates with a conspicuous proboscis belonging to the oral apparatus and carrying a complex, unique ciliary pattern. We studied development of body shape, ciliary pattern, and nuclear apparatus during and after binary fission of Dileptus terrenus using protargol impregnation. Additional data were obtained from a related spec...
Conference Paper
Two new hypotrichs (stichotrichs) have been discovered in a highly saline soil (12%) from the Al Hasan oasis near the Arabic Gulf in Saudi Arabia. The first species resembles some amphisiellids and is characterised, inter alia, by a distinct gap in the adoral zone of membranelles, a short and a long frontoventral row, a conspicuous postoral row, a...
Book
There is still a widespread belief that microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, protists, and small multicellulars, have a cosmopolitan distribution due to a presumed easy dispersal by wind and water. However, the contributions collected in this book – ranging from protists to rotifers and mosses – show that microorganisms have community st...
Article
Full-text available
The conjugation of Halteria grandinella was studied in protargol preparations. The isogamontic conjugants fuse partially with their ventral sides to a homopolar pair. The first maturation division generates dramatic transformations: (i) the partners obtain an interlocking arrangement; (ii) the number of bristle kineties decreases from seven to four...
Article
We studied the morphology, conjugation, and postconjugational reorganization of a new haptorid ciliate, Dileptus tirjakovae n. sp., using conventional methods. Dileptus tirjakovae is characterized by two abutting, globular macronuclear nodules and scattered brush kinetids. Conjugation is similar to that in congeners, that is, it is temporary, heter...
Article
Full-text available
Levicoleps biwae n. gen., n. sp. was discovered in organic mud on the shore of Lake Biwa, Japan. Its morphology and small subunit rRNA gene sequence were studied with standard methods. Further, we established a terminology for the colepid armour and selected four features for genus recognition: the number of armour tiers, the structure of the tier...
Article
We studied the morphology of four new dileptid ciliates, using standard methods. Dileptus microstoma, which was discovered in Benin (Africa), is outstanding in having a very small oral opening (~4 μm), an interrupted dorsal row of contractile vacuoles, and ampulliform extrusomes. Dileptus semiarmatus, which was discovered in Austria, possesses extr...
Article
Few data are available on soil ciliates from Asia. Thus, seven samples were collected in Singapore in February 1987 and investigated between December 1987 and May 1989, using the non-flooded Petri dish method, live observation, and silver impregnation. One hundred and three ciliate taxa, all new for the fauna of Singapore and Malaysia, were found....
Article
Despite its long history, biogeography has received relatively little attention within the field of microbial ecology. Consequently, a fierce debate rages whether protists inhabit restricted geographic areas (endemism hypothesis) or are globally dispersed (ubiquitous dispersal hypothesis). The data presented in this article support the endemism hyp...
Article
The odontostomatid ciliates have remained a homogeneous order of ciliates since the 1930s when they were recognized as a monophyletic assemblage. Since that time they have been placed with the heterotrich ciliates, and more recently transferred as incertae sedis to the new "riboclass" class Armophorea. We were able to obtain the small subunit rRNA...
Article
ABSTRACT The morphology and infraciliature of two new, mycophagous soil ciliates are described. Specimens were isolated from dried, rewetted soil samples with the non-flooded Petri dish method and investigated in vivo and with various silver impregnation techniques. Fungiphrya strobli n. g., n. sp. was discovered in the mud of rock-pools on the sum...
Article
Corticocolpoda kaneshiroae n. g., n. sp. was discovered in the bark of Ohia trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) from the Hawaiian Archipelago. Its morphology and infraciliature were studied in live cells, with the scanning electron microscope, as well as in specimens impregnated with protargol, silver nitrate, and silver carbonate. The new genus, Corti...
Article
Full-text available
Diagnosis: Spathidiina with lasso-shaped oral bulge and circumoral kinety open ventrally.
Article
Diagnosis: Spathidiina with temporary cytostome and somatic ciliary rows anteriorly curved dorsally on both sides of cell and distinctly separate from circumoral kinety. Brush located dorsally, dorsolaterally, or on left side. Extrusomes restricted to oral bulge or in both oral bulge and somatic cortex. Oral bulge usually as long as or longer than...
Chapter
As explained in the preface, the monograph has been split into two volumes. This applies also to the genral section. In volume I, the general morphology, the life cycle, and the principal investigation methods are described, while volume II will deal mainly with ecology and geographic distribution, phylogeny, evolution, and classification. Further,...
Article
The spathidiids belong to the ciliate subclass Haptoria (Protozoa, Ciliophora), that is, they are predators using toxicysts to overwhelm the prey. Over 200 nominal spathidiid species have been described, sometimes based on seemingly minute differences. Thus, many protozoologists considered them as indeterminable and claimed for a detailed revision....
Article
Fifty-six ciliate taxa, including three new species, were found in two soil samples from the Hoge Veluwe National Park in The Netherlands. A literature search showed that The Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark are terra incognita with respect to soil ciliates: only about 100 species have been recorded. Likely, a much greater number, including many un...
Article
Rigidothrix goiseri nov. gen., nov. spec. was discovered in soil from the Niger floodplain near to the town of Timbuktu, Republic of Mali. Its morphology, ontogenesis, and 18S rDNA gene sequence were studied with standard methods. Rigidothrix goiseri is very conspicuous in vivo because of its average size of 230x70 microm and a distinct tail. Furth...
Article
This review summarizes recent progress in the debate on distribution of micro-organisms, especially protists. I present three fundamental evidences for restricted distribution of protists, viz., a study on global soil ciliate diversity which shows a "meaningful" distinction of Laurasian and Gondwanan ciliate communities; flagship and vi-carious tes...
Article
Full-text available
Meseres corlissi Petz and Foissner (1992) is an oligotrichine ciliate covering the resting cyst with epicortical scales called lepidosomes. We studied in detail encystment as well as the genesis and release of the lepidosomes, using live observation, morphometry, and transmission electron microscopy. Encystment is remarkable in changing body shape...
Article
We studied the genesis of the cyst wall precursors and the assemblage of the cyst wall in Meseres corlissi Petz and Foissner (1992), an oligotrichous ciliate closely related to the common Halteria grandinella, using transmission electron microscopy. Meseres corlissi has five types of cyst wall precursors, of which type (A), the lepidosomes of the p...
Article
Full-text available
A total of 359 soil samples collected from five continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America) were investigated for the presence/absence of soil ciliate species. Merging records by species identity, we have compiled a master data list (species by sample matrix). In the list, a total of 964 soil ciliate species (644 described and 32...
Article
The monophyly of the litostomes was tested using nine newly sequenced and four previously unpublished small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSrRNA) gene sequences from free-living Haptoria as well as from endosymbiotic Trichostomatia: the vestibuliferids Balantidium coli and Isotricha prostoma, the cyclotrichiid Mesodinium pulex, and the haptorids Loxophyll...
Article
Oxytricha granulifera sp.n. differs from other members of the genus by its subpellicular granules and the strongly shortened dorsal kinety 4. The overall pattern of the morphogenetic events is similar to that known from other Oxytrichidae. However, the oral primordium evolves de novo between the left marginal cirral row and the postoral cirri. The...
Article
The loricae of the fresh-water Tintinnina Codonella cratera, Tinitinnidium fluviatile, and Tintinnopsis cylindrata were investigated for their variability in shape, structure, and size, using scanning electron microscopy and variance analysis. The intrastrain variability of length and width of the loricae is significantly smaller than the interstra...
Article
The morphology and main ontogenetic traits of a new stichotrich ciliate, Saudithrix terricola Foissner, AL-Rasheid and Berger n. gen., n. sp., from a terrestrial habitat in Saudi Arabia were investigated using live observation, protargol impregnation, and scanning electron microscopy. Saudithrix terricola is characterized by a large (200-350 x 70-1...
Conference Paper
For a very long time the higher-level systematics of hypotrichs (= stichotrichs according to Small & Lynn) followed mainly the ventral cirral pattern. Since about three decades, several other morphological and ontogenetic features are successfully used, for example, the dorsal kinety pattern (e.g., kinety fragmentation of oxytrichids) or the rigid...
Article
We investigated the oral apparatus of several stichotrichine spirotrichs, such as Stylonychia, Saudithrix, and Holosticha. Scanning electron microscopy reveals the oral opening into the buccal cavity covered by a membranous sheet, the "buccal seal", which is very fragile and thus probably restored after each feeding process. Depending on the depth...
Article
This review summarizes data on the biogeography and dispersal of bacteria, microfungi and selected protists, such as dinoflagellates, chrysophytes, testate amoebae, and ciliates. Furthermore, it introduces the restricted distribution and disper sal of mosses, ferns and macrofungi as arguments into the discussion on the postulated cosmopolitism and...
Article
This is the first detailed study on the fine structure of the resting cyst of an oligotrichine ciliate, that is, the halteriid Meseres corlissi Petz and Foissner (1992), using a new, "strong" fixative composed of glutaraldehyde, osmium tetroxide, and mercuric chloride. The cyst wall consists of five distinct layers (from inside to outside): metacys...
Article
Full-text available
Meseres corlissi Petz et Foissner, 1992 is a planktonic, spirotrich ciliate closely related to the common Halteria grandinella. Pure cultures were established with Cryptomonas sp. as a main food source. Thus, resting cyst formation and structure could be studied by light and scanning electron microscopy and cytochemical methods. The resting cyst of...
Article
The morphology and the regulation of cortical pattern associated with the cell size, division, and reorganization of Paraurostyla weissei (Stein, 1859) were investigated. The ranges of variation of the Austrian, Polish, and American strains were compared by biometrical analyses. The Austrian population most frequently shows 4 frontal cirri in the a...
Article
Protospathidium serpens (Kahl, 1930) is frequent in semiterrestrial and terrestrial habitats worldwide. Conventionally, all populations are considered as conspecific because they have very similar overall morphologies and morphometrics. We studied in detail not only the morphology of the vegetative cells but also the resting cysts using live observ...
Article
We studied the morphology of three rare haptorid ciliates, using live observation and silver impregnation: Apertospathula verruculifera n. sp., Longispatha elegans n. gen., n. sp., and Rhinothrix porculus (Penard, 1922) n. gen., n. comb. Simple ethanol fixation (50-70%, v/v) is recommended to reveal the ciliary pattern of "difficult" ciliates, such...
Article
Sleighophrys pustulata nov. gen., nov. spec. and Luporinophrys micelae nov. gen., nov. spec. were discovered in a slightly saline mud and soil sample from some flat, dry puddles in the Maracay National Park on the north coast of Venezuela. Their morphology was studied in vivo, in protargol preparations, and in the scanning electron microscope. The...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated 12 natural forest stands in eastern Austria for soil ciliate diversity, viz., eight beech forests and two lowland and Pinus nigra forests each. The stands span a wide range of climatic (e.g., 543–1759 mm precipitation, 160–1035 m above sea-level) and abiotic (e.g., pH 4–7.4) factors. Samples were taken twice in autumn and late sprin...
Article
Full-text available
Summary We studied and reviewed the morphology, ontogenesis and encystment of two closely related spathidiids, Arcuospathidium cultriforme (Penard, 1922) Foissner, 1984 and A. scalpriforme (Kahl, 1930) Foissner, 2003, using live observation, protargol impregnation, morphometry, scanning electron microscopy, populations from different geographic reg...
Article
We performed a comparative morphological and molecular study on oxytrichid and urostylid stichotrichs (=part of the former hypotrichs). Included are new small subunit (18S) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences from five rare oxytrichids (Gonostomum namibiense, Cyrtohymena citrina, Hemiurosoma terricola, Onychodromopsis flexilis, Orthoamphisiella bre...
Article
We studied cell size and shape, nuclear changes, and the ciliary pattern during conjugation of Protospathidium serpens, using protargol impregnation and morphometry. Preliminary data were gathered from Epispathidium ascendens and Apertospathula armata. Conjugation of P. serpens is temporary, isogamic, and without preconjugation divisions. Pair form...
Article
Two euplanktonic ciliates, Urotricha psenneri n. sp. (Prostomatida) and Amphileptus piger (Vuxanovici, 1962) n. comb. (Pleurostomatida), were discovered in the surface plankton of the oligotrophic Lake Traunsee in Austria. Their morphology and infraciliature were studied in live cells as well as in specimens impregnated with protargol and silver ni...
Conference Paper
Die Klasse der Spirotrichea stellt eine der artenreichsten und vielfältigsten Klassen der Ciliophora dar. Das Ziel der vorliegenden Studie besteht in der weiteren Aufklärung der phylogenetischen Beziehungen innerhalb der Spirotrichea, insbesondere der Verwandtschaftsbeziehungen der Oxytrichidae und der Urostylida. Dazu wurde die ssu rDNA von 18 Art...