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A UNIQUE PSEUDANABAENALEAN (CYANOBACTERIA) GENUS NODOSILINEA GEN. NOV. BASED ON MORPHOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR DATA

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  • Received 15 October 2010. Accepted 6 May 2011.

Abstract

The cyanobacteria are a diverse, ancient lineage of oxygenic, phototrophic bacteria. Ubiquitous in nearly all ecosystems, the alpha-level diversity of these organisms lags behind other algal lineages due to a perceived dearth of phylogenetically useful characters. Recent phylogenetic studies of species within the genus Leptolyngbya have demonstrated that this is a polyphyletic assemblage. One group of strains that fits within the current circumscription of Leptolyngbya is genetically and phylogenetically distinct from Leptolyngbya sensu stricto. Members of this clade possess both a morphological synapomorphy and shared 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) secondary structure, allowing the diagnosis of the new cyanobacterial genus Nodosilinea. Members of this genus are united by the unique ability to form nodules along the length of the filament. This trait has been previously observed only in the species Leptolyngbya nodulosa Z. Li et J. Brand, and we have chosen this species as the generitype of Nodosilinea. We currently recognize four species in the genus, N. nodulosa (Z. Li et J. Brand) comb. nov., N. bijugata (Kong.) comb. nov., N. conica sp. nov., and N. epilithica sp. nov.

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