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Scientific classification
(unranked): SAR
(unranked): Alveolata
Phylum: Ciliophora
Class: Karyorelictea
Corliss, 1974 [1]

All ciliate possess multiple dimorphic nuclei which have separated the functions of protein synthesis, performed by the macronuclei or somatic-nuclei, and heritable DNA replication, performed by the micronuclei or germ-line nuclei. The class Karyorelictea are characterised by an inability to replicate the macronucleus, a process called amitosis, which must be re-synthesized from the micronucleus every cell division.[2] The majority are unculturable, although clonal lines of Loxodes have been developed. The class is divided into three orders, Protostomatida, Loxodida and Protoheterotrichida, which were defined morphologically, but have been confirmed with molecular phylogenetics.[2]


  1. ^ WoRMS (2009). "Karyorelictea". World Ciliophora Database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Ilaria Andreoli, Lara Mangini, Filippo Ferrantini, Giovanni Santangelo, Franco Verni & Giulio Petroni (2009). "Molecular phylogeny of unculturable Karyorelictea (Alveolata, Ciliophora)". Zoologica Scripta 38 (6): 651–662. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2009.00395.x.