The protist genus Gromia was first described in 1835 by Dujardin and while gromiids are prominent in the marine environment, Gromia oviformis was, for a long time, the only valid species regularly recorded. To date, 16 species that are morphologically and/or genetically distinct have been described. While recent studies are documenting their diversity and their ecological importance, G. oviformis has been the sole gromiid species identified in the Black Sea, although unnamed Gromia species have also been recorded. We collected sediment samples from the Romanian continental shelf at varying depths (48 - 58 m) to study the morphological and genetic diversity of gromiids in this part of the Black Sea. Three new species, Gromia bugnae sp. nov., Gromia dianae sp. nov. and Gromia fabi sp. nov., were identified based on an integrative taxonomic approach, thus bringing the total described gromiid species to 19. Analysis of partial SSU rRNA gene sequences confirms that these are distinct species. Additionally, an undescribed species is represented by a sequence from the northern part of the Black Sea (Sevastopol, Kazachya Bay). The study provides further evidence of the diversity of gromiids in the Black Sea and underlines the importance of this little-known group in marginal seas.
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