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Keywords:

  • Izziella formosana comb. nov.;
  • Izziella hommersandii sp. nov.;
  • Izziella kuroshioensis sp. nov.;
  • Liagora;
  • LSU rRNA gene;
  • molecular phylogeny;
  • rbcL;
  • Taiwan;
  • Titanophycus setchellii comb. nov.

Some Liagora and Izziella distributed in Taiwan display a wide range of morphological variation and can be difficult to distinguish. To clarify species concepts, we applied DNA sequence analyses and examined carposporophyte development in detail. These studies revealed two new species, which are described herein as Izziella hommersandii sp. nov. and Izziella kuroshioensis sp. nov. I. kuroshioensis superficially resembles Izziella formosana and Izziella orientalis in that its involucral filaments subtend rather than surround the lower portion of the gonimoblast mass (= Izziella type) and a fusion cell is formed from cells of the carpogonial branch, but it can be separated by differences in the cell numbers and branching pattern of the involucral filaments, as well as thallus morphology. In contrast to other species that also bear short lateral branchlets, I. hommersandii is unique in possessing a mixture of short and long involucral filaments, a phenomenon not reported before. The length of the involucral filaments is species specific among species of Izziella and contrasts to the behavior of the involucral filaments after fertilization in species such as “Liagorasetchellii [= Titanophycus setchellii comb. nov.], in which the filaments completely envelop the gonimoblast. In addition, the cells of the carpogonial branch in Titanophycus do not fuse after fertilization to form a fusion cell. Thus, a combination of characters with respect to the behavior of the carpogonial branch and the involucral filaments after fertilization is very useful for delineating species boundaries in Izziella and for separating Titanophycus from Izziella and Liagora.