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A NEW LOOK AT AN ANCIENT ORDER: GENERIC REVISION OF THE BANGIALES (RHODOPHYTA)

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  • Received 17 September 2010. Accepted 21 January 2011.

Abstract

The red algal order Bangiales has been revised as a result of detailed regional studies and the development of expert local knowledge of Bangiales floras, followed by collaborative global analyses based on wide taxon sampling and molecular analyses. Combined analyses of the nuclear SSU rRNA gene and the plastid RUBISCO LSU (rbcL) gene for 157 Bangiales taxa have been conducted. Fifteen genera of Bangiales, seven filamentous and eight foliose, are recognized. This classification includes five newly described and two resurrected genera. This revision constitutes a major change in understanding relationships and evolution in this order. The genus Porphyra is now restricted to five described species and a number of undescribed species. Other foliose taxa previously placed in Porphyra are now recognized to belong to the genera Boreophyllum gen. nov., Clymene gen. nov., Fuscifolium gen. nov., Lysithea gen. nov., Miuraea gen. nov., Pyropia, and Wildemania. Four of the seven filamentous genera recognized in our analyses already have generic names (Bangia, Dione, Minerva, and Pseudobangia), and are all currently monotypic. The unnamed filamentous genera are clearly composed of multiple species, and few of these species have names. Further research is required: the genus to which the marine taxon Bangia fuscopurpurea belongs is not known, and there are also a large number of species previously described as Porphyra for which nuclear SSU ribosomal RNA (nrSSU) or rbcL sequence data should be obtained so that they can be assigned to the appropriate genus.

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