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MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS IN THE FRESHWATER FAMILY HYDRODICTYACEAE (SPHAEROPLEALES, CHLOROPHYCEAE), WITH AN EMPHASIS ON PEDIASTRUM DUPLEX

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  • Received 11 October 2009. Accepted 26 July 2010.

Abstract

The freshwater green algal family Hydrodictyaceae (Sphaeropleales, Chlorophyta) has traditionally consisted of four coenobial genera, Pediastrum Meyen 1829, Hydrodictyon Roth 1797, Sorastrum Kützing 1845, and Euastropsis Lagerheim1894. Two recent molecular phylogenetic studies demonstrated the need for reevaluation of the generic and species boundaries in this morphology-rich family. This study expands the previous work to include phylogenetic analyses of 103 ingroup isolates representing North America, Europe, and Australia, with an emphasis on the common and geographically widespread species Pediastrum duplex. Nucleotide sequence data were collected from the nuclear LSU (26S rDNA) and the chloroplast RUBISCO LSU (rbcL) genes, totaling >3,000 aligned characters. The 26S and rbcL data sets were analyzed using maximum-likelihood (ML) and Bayesian phylogenetic methods. In addition, SEM was used to examine the wall morphology of a majority of the isolates. The results supported previous indications that the P. duplex Meyen 1829 morphotype is nonmonophyletic and resolved some previously ambiguous relationships recovered in earlier phylogenetic estimations using fewer isolates. These new data allowed testing of the recent taxonomic revisions of the family that split Pediastrum into five genera. Some of the previous revisions by Buchheim et al. (2005) were well supported (erection of Stauridium and Monactinus), while others were not (Pediastrum, Pseudopediastrum, Parapediastrum).

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