• 26S rDNA;
  • cox2-3 spacer;
  • crustose red algae;
  • morphology;
  • Peyssonnelia boudouresquei;
  • Peyssonnelia japonica;
  • rbcL;
  • taxonomy


The vegetative and reproductive morphology of the crustose red alga Peyssonnelia japonica (Segawa) Yoneshigue was re-examined based on the holotype specimen and recent collections from various localities in Japan, including the type locality, and Hawaii. This species is characterized by the following features: thallus with appressed margins, perithallial filaments arising from the entire upper surface of each hypothallial cell (the Peyssonnelia rubra-type), easily separable perithallial filaments in a gelatinous matrix, hypothallial filaments arranged in parallel rows, unicellular rhizoids, hypobasal calcification, gonimoblasts derived mainly from connecting filaments, and spermatangia produced in a series of whorls comprised of one to four paired spermatangia surrounding each central cell (the Peyssonnelia dubyi-type). In addition to these features, the dimensions of the vegetative and reproductive structures of Peyssonnelia boudouresquei Yoneshigue described from Brazil were consistent with those of P. japonica. Molecular phylogenetic analyses using partial 26S rDNA, rbcL, and cox2-3 spacer DNA sequences also supported the monophyly of P. japonica (from 16 localities in Japan and one locality in Hawaii) and P. boudouresquei (from two localities in Brazil). Therefore, P. boudouresquei may be a taxonomic synonym of P. japonica. However, considering the relatively high sequence divergences between the two taxa (2.1–2.5% in partial 26S rDNA, 5.9–6.7% in rbcL, and 5.8–6.7% in cox2-3 spacer), and the relatively limited geographic sampling ranges, we reserve the taxonomic conclusion until further morphological and genetic data of the specimens from other geographic areas connecting Japan and Brazil become available.