The Ciliophora is one of the most studied protist lineages because of its important ecological role in the microbial loop. While there is an abundance of molecular data for many ciliate groups, it is commonly limited to the 18S ribosomal RNA locus. There is a paucity of data when it comes to availability of protein-coding genes especially for taxa that do not belong to the class Oligohymenophorea. To address this gap, we have sequenced EST libraries for 11 ciliate species. A supermatrix was constructed for phylogenomic analysis based on 158 genes and 42,158 characters and included 16 ciliates, four dinoflagellates and nine apicomplexans. This is the first multigene-based analysis focusing on the phylum Ciliophora. Our analyses reveal two robust superclades within the Intramacronucleata; one composed of the classes Spirotrichea, Armophorea and Litostomatea (SAL) and another with Colpodea and Oligohymenophorea. Furthermore, we provide corroborative evidence for removing the ambiguous taxon Protocruzia from the class Spirotrichea and placing it as incertae sedis in the phylum Ciliophora. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.