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Keywords:

  • Bryopsidales;
  • Caulerpales;
  • Chlorophyta;
  • Phlyogeny;
  • rbcL;
  • RUBISCO;
  • taxonomy;
  • Ulvophyceae

Current taxonomy of the Bryopsidales recognizes eight families; most of which are further categorized into two suborders, the Bryopsidineae and Halimedineae. This concept was supported by early molecular phylogenetic analyses based on rRNA sequence data, but subsequent cladistic analyses of morphological characters inferred monophyly in only the Halimedineae. These conflicting results prompted the current analysis of 32 taxa from this diverse group of green algae based on plastid-encoded RUBISCO large subunit (rbcL) gene sequences. Results of these analyses suggested that the Halimedineae and Bryopsidineae are distinct monophyletic lineages. The families Bryopsidaceae, Caulerpaceae, Codiaceae, Derbesiaceae, and Halimediaceae were inferred as monophyletic, however the Udoteaceae was inferred as non-monophyletic. The phylogenetic position of two taxa with uncertain subordinal affinity, Dichotomosiphon tuberosus Lawson and Pseudocodium floridanum Dawes & Mathieson, were also inferred. Pseudocodium was consistently placed within the halimedinean clade suggesting its inclusion into this suborder, however familial affinity was not resolved. D. tuberosus was the inferred sister taxon of the Halimedineae based on analyses of rbcL sequence data and thus a possible member of this suborder.