Genetic Diversity and Taxonomy of Algae

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2022) | Viewed by 7198

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Research Institute for Basic Sciences and Department of Biology, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea
Interests: seaweeds; species diversity; taxonomy; phylogeography; phylogeny

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute for Basic Sciences, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Republic of Korea
Interests: seaweeds; taxonomy; biogeography; ecology; phylogenetics; evolution
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As primary producers and ecological engineers, algae are well-adapted fundamental components of most aquatic ecosystems. Although much less well-documented, climate change and other stressors are taking their toll on algal diversity as much as it is on terrestrial primary producers. Consequently, the need to document algal diversity, describing and naming species, in groups and geographic areas where our knowledge is still falling short, is an urgent matter. The characterization of algal taxa is needed not only for our basic understanding of the structure, function, and services of ecosystems, but also for biodiversity conservation by providing baseline data. As illustrated in the past couple of decades, the use of molecular techniques has become a necessary tool in recognizing the phylogenetic relationships of algal taxa, notably to uncover cryptic species diversity. This Special Issue of Plants aims to compile studies related to the genetic diversity and taxonomy of algae by focusing on poorly studied algal groups and regions by combining molecular and morphological analyses.

Prof. Dr. Myung Sook Kim
Dr. Christophe Vieira
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • algae
  • biodiversity
  • cryptic species
  • dna barcoding
  • phylogeny
  • phylogeography
  • seaweeds
  • species complex
  • systematics
  • taxonomy

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 3862 KiB  
Article
A New Species from the Canary Islands Increases the Diversity of the Red Algal Genus Pterocladiella in the Northeastern Atlantic
by Nereida M. Rancel-Rodríguez, Julio Afonso-Carrillo, Ana Tronholm and Marta Sansón
Plants 2023, 12(2), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020416 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2490
Abstract
Environmental and human factors are inducing a drastic decline in many marine algae in regions with a high floristic richness as in the Canary Islands. Simultaneously, undescribed algal species continue to be discovered, suggesting a probable loss in diversity, before being properly identified [...] Read more.
Environmental and human factors are inducing a drastic decline in many marine algae in regions with a high floristic richness as in the Canary Islands. Simultaneously, undescribed algal species continue to be discovered, suggesting a probable loss in diversity, before being properly identified and catalogued. Turf-forming Gelidiales occur in marine littoral communities from tropical to warm temperate regions and are challenging to identify correctly because of their small size and simple morphology. In the present study, we combined morphological and molecular phylogenetics methods to study a turf-forming species of the genus Pterocladiella from the Canary Islands (NE Atlantic). Both cox1 and rbcL gene analyses revealed a novel species described here, Pterocladiella canariensis sp. nov. The new species has no single unique morphological feature, but it is different by a distinctive combination of attributes, namely, minute size less than 18 mm in height, ribbon-like erect axes, small polygonal cortical cells, cystocarp circular in outline with placental tissue attached to the floor, spermatangial sori with sterile margins with spermatangia simultaneously formed on both sides of the blade, and tetrasporangia arranged in V-shaped rows. Phylogenies inferred from cox1 and concatenated genes (cox1 + rbcL) suggest a link to only two Pterocladiella species endemic to South Africa and Madagascar; nevertheless, the rbcL gene establishes P. canariensis as the earliest divergent lineage of the genus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity and Taxonomy of Algae)
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14 pages, 3372 KiB  
Article
Association between the Classification of the Genus of Batrachospermaceae (Rhodophyta) and the Environmental Factors Based on Machine Learning
by Qiqin Yang, Fangru Nan, Xudong Liu, Qi Liu, Junping Lv, Jia Feng, Fei Wang and Shulian Xie
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3485; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243485 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1326
Abstract
Batrachospermaceae is the largest family of freshwater red algae, widely distributed around the world, and plays an important role in maintaining the balance of spring and creek ecosystems. The deterioration of the current global ecological environment has also destroyed the habitat of Batrachospermaceae. [...] Read more.
Batrachospermaceae is the largest family of freshwater red algae, widely distributed around the world, and plays an important role in maintaining the balance of spring and creek ecosystems. The deterioration of the current global ecological environment has also destroyed the habitat of Batrachospermaceae. The research on the environmental factors of Batrachospermaceae and the accurate classification of the genus is necessary for the protection, restoration, excavation, and utilization of Batrachospermaceae resources. In this paper, the database of geographical distribution and environmental factors of Batrachospermaceae was sorted out, and the relationship between the classification of genus and environmental factors in Batrachospermaceae was analyzed based on two machine learning methods, random forest and XGBoost. The result shows: (1) The models constructed by the two machine learning methods can effectively distinguish the genus of Batrachospermaceae based on environmental factors; (2) The overall AUC score of the random forest model for the classification and prediction of the genus of Batrachospermaceae reached 90.41%, and the overall AUC score of the taxonomic prediction of each genus of Batrachospermaceae reached 85.85%; (3) Combining the two methods, it is believed that the environmental factors that affect the distinction of the genus of Batrachospermaceae are mainly altitude, average relative humidity, average temperature, and minimum temperature, among which altitude has the greatest influence. The results can further clarify the taxonomy of the genus in Batrachospermaceae and enrich the research on the differences in environmental factors of Batrachospermaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity and Taxonomy of Algae)
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12 pages, 2377 KiB  
Article
Diversity and Ecology of Lobophora Species Associated with Coral Reef Systems in the Western Gulf of Thailand, including the Description of Two New Species
by Anirut Klomjit, Christophe Vieira, Felipe M. G. Mattos, Makamas Sutthacheep, Suttikarn Sutti, Myung-Sook Kim and Thamasak Yeemin
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3349; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233349 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
The brown macroalgal genus Lobophora plays important ecological roles in many marine ecosystems. This group has received much attention over the past decade, and a considerable number of new species have been identified globally. However, our knowledge of the genus diversity and ecology [...] Read more.
The brown macroalgal genus Lobophora plays important ecological roles in many marine ecosystems. This group has received much attention over the past decade, and a considerable number of new species have been identified globally. However, our knowledge of the genus diversity and ecology along south-east Asian coasts are still limited. Given the growing body of research that uses a combination of molecular and morphological data to identify cryptic species, this study investigates the diversity of Lobophora in the western Gulf of Thailand using morphological and molecular data, as well as their interactions with scleractinian corals. A total of 36 Lobophora specimens were collected from 15 sites in the western Gulf of Thailand and used for molecular and morphological analyses. One mitochondrial (cox3) and two chloroplast (psbA and rbcL) genes were amplified and sequenced for molecular phylogenetic analyses. Based primarily on phylogenetic evidence, two new species were formally described, L. chumphonensis sp. nov. and L. thailandensis sp. nov. Additionally, L. lamourouxii was newly recorded from Thailand. Two new lineages of Lobophora obscura were identified, L. obscura12 and L. obscura13. Among the Lobophora species identified, three were found in interaction with corals, the most notable of which was the massive coral Porites. Lobophora chumphonensis sp. nov. only interacted with Porites by growing on bare coral skeleton between Porites colonies. Furthermore, L. obscura13 was observed under the branching coral Pocillopora. Our findings revealed that Lobophora presented both effects and absence of effects on coral. A thorough understanding of Lobophora diversity and ecology is essential for ongoing and future research on coral–macroalgal ecological relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity and Taxonomy of Algae)
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9 pages, 2893 KiB  
Communication
Ulosarcina terrestrica gen. nov., sp. nov., a New Ulvophycean Sarcinoid Alga from the Russian Far East
by Andrey A. Gontcharov, Arthur Yu. Nikulin, Vyacheslav Yu. Nikulin, Rezeda Z. Allaguvatova, Veronika B. Bagmet and Shamil R. Abdullin
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3228; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233228 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Many filamentous and sarcinoid terrestrial or freshwater green algae that were previously assigned to the Chlorophyceae are members of lineages belonging to the class Ulvophyceae. One of these lineages is the Planophila-clade (Ulotrichales). Some genera in this clade share similar morphology: cell [...] Read more.
Many filamentous and sarcinoid terrestrial or freshwater green algae that were previously assigned to the Chlorophyceae are members of lineages belonging to the class Ulvophyceae. One of these lineages is the Planophila-clade (Ulotrichales). Some genera in this clade share similar morphology: cell packages forming branched pseudofilaments, uniseriate or sometimes biseriate filaments, often embedded in common mucilage. During a study on soil algal diversity in the temperate monsoon climate zone in Russia (Primorsky Territory, Vladivostok), we isolated a strain of sarcinoid green alga and examined it using an integrative approach. SSU and ITS rDNA sequence data, morphological characteristics, and life cycle features differentiated this strain from closely related genera of the order Ulotrichales and led us to describe it as Ulosarcina terrestrica gen. et sp. nov. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity and Taxonomy of Algae)
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