Taxonomic investigation of Ralfsia-like (Ralfsiales, Phaeophyceae) taxa in the North Atlantic Ocean based on molecular and morphological data, with descriptions of Pseudoralfsiaceae fam. nov., Pseudoralfsia azorica gen. et sp. nov. and Nuchella vesicularis gen. et sp. nov.

Manuela I. Parente, Robert L. Fletcher, Filipe O. Costa, Gary W. Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this study we investigated Ralfsia-like crusts (i.e. excluding Ralfsia sensu stricto, Stragularia spp. and/or Scytosiphonaceae crustose phases) with an emphasis on the North Atlantic Ocean using molecular data (COI-5P, ITS and rbcL-3P) combined with morpho-anatomical comparisons of type material and contemporary specimens. Of the four species of Ralfsia previously reported in Europe, only R. fungiformis is presently recognized as belonging to Ralfsia sensu stricto, Ralfsiaceae, with the remaining species, R. lucida, R. ovata and R. verrucosa, of uncertain taxonomic status. Our study revealed 11 independent genetic lineages of Ralfsia-like taxa, which were not assignable to any of the recognized families of the Ralfsiales. To accommodate this diversity, we propose Pseudoralfsiaceae Parente, Fletcher & G.W.Saunders fam. nov., including two new genera Pseudoralfsia Parente, Fletcher & G.W.Saunders gen. nov. and Nuchella Parente, Fletcher & G.W.Saunders gen. nov. The first genus includes Pseudoralfsia verrucosa (Areschoug) Parente, Fletcher & G.W.Saunders comb. nov. as the generitype (the only species of the three remaining European species of uncertain taxonomic status assigned to Ralfsia that was reassessed here), P. azorica Parente, Fletcher & G.W.Saunders sp. nov. and seven undescribed genetic groups, which require additional vouchers for description. The second genus has as generitype Nuchella vesicularis Parente, Fletcher & G.W.Saunders sp. nov., and also includes N. sp._1MP, which was represented by a single sterile specimen from Swanage, UK and consequently not characterized. Three characteristics differentiate Nuchella from Pseudoralfsia – the former typically with numerous vesicles, non-synchronous development of the plurangia and hair pits arising from both middle and lower cells of the erect filaments. Species of Pseudoralfsiaceae can be distinguished from Ralfsia sensu stricto (Ralfsiaceae) mainly by DNA sequences and by consistently having frequent hair pits, and typically unsymmetrical thalli.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-23
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Phycology
Volume56
Early online date9 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • brown crusts
  • COI-5P
  • DNA Barcode
  • Nuchella vesicularis
  • phylogenetic
  • Pseudoralfsia azorica
  • Pseudoralfsia verrucosa
  • Pseudoralfsiaceae
  • Ralfsiales
  • taxonomy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Taxonomic investigation of Ralfsia-like (Ralfsiales, Phaeophyceae) taxa in the North Atlantic Ocean based on molecular and morphological data, with descriptions of Pseudoralfsiaceae fam. nov., Pseudoralfsia azorica gen. et sp. nov. and Nuchella vesicularis gen. et sp. nov.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this