Filamentous representatives of Cladophorales (Chlorophyta) are major contributors to algal biomass of littoral communities. In the present study, community analysis of a reported bloom in the Ogeechee River in Georgia provided an opportunity to combine morphological and genetic analyses with ecological information related to an understudied nuisance alga. A polyphasic approach of incorporating genotypic and phenotypic methods led to the identification of the algal community as Pithophora roettleri
(Roth) Wittrock. Morphological analysis showed a monospecific community based on the average length and diameter of the heterosporous intercalary and terminal akinetes, along with the diameter of the principal filaments. Single-gene and concatenated-gene phylogenetic analyses of the LSU (28S rRNA) and SSU (18S rRNA) markers further confirmed this species identification. In this study, we conducted a morphological treatment of P. roettleri
, produced 17 novel gene sequences, and produced a new, schematic diagram illustrating the four steps of the asexual reproduction of an intercalary akinete. Morphological characteristics, like the position and shape of akinetes documented here, and the availability of genetic sequences can improve identification and further ecological understanding of filamentous green algae. Flowing mats of P. roettleri
, like those observed in this study, can lower light availability for other biota and structurally alter the habitat.
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