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Algal Parasite Herpodiscus durvillaeae (Phaeophyceae: Sphacelariales) Inferred to have Traversed the Pacific Ocean with its Buoyant Host

Authors

  • Ceridwen I. Fraser,

    Corresponding authorCurrent affiliation:
    1. Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
    • Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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  • Jonathan M. Waters

    1. Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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Author for correspondence: e-mail ceridwen.fraser@gmail.com.

Abstract

The parasitic phaeophycean endophyte Herpodiscus durvillaeae (Lindauer) G. R. South has previously only been recorded from New Zealand, in association with a single host species, Durvillaea antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot (southern bull-kelp). Here we use DNA sequence data from plastid and nuclear markers (chloroplast rbcL, ribosomal LSU, and a nuclear pseudogene copy of COI) to test for the presence of H. durvillaeae beyond the New Zealand region, and on host species other than D. antarctica. Analyses of samples from the Falkland Islands confirm the first record of H. durvillaeae from the Atlantic Ocean. We report that Falkland Islands H. durvillaeae are genetically indistinguishable from samples of this species from New Zealand's sub-Antarctic Campbell Island, suggesting recent dispersal of the parasite across the Pacific Ocean, presumably by rafting with its buoyant macroalgal host. We also here record Hdurvillaeae from New Zealand endemics Durvillaea poha Fraser et al. and D. willana Lindauer.

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