Insights into species diversity of associated crustose coralline algae (Corallinophycidae, Rhodophyta) with Atlantic European maerl beds using DNA barcoding




Brittany, COI-5P, Corallinales, crustose coralline algae, diversity, Galicia, Hapalidiales, Lithophyllum, Lithothamnion, maerl, Mesophyllum, morphology, Phymatolithon, reproduction, rhodolith, SEM


DNA barcoding in combination with morpho-anatomical analysis was applied to study the diversity of crustose coralline algae associated to two maerl beds from two protected Atlantic European areas from Brittany and Galicia —France and Spain, respectively—. Given the records of gametophytes of the maerl species Phymatolithon calcareum under crustose growth-forms, and that associated crustose coralline algae appear to be involved in the recruitment of new maerl plants, we compared the species composition between the associated crustose coralline algae to Breton and Galician maerl beds with the maerl species identified in these beds in previous DNA barcoding surveys. Our molecular results revealed higher species diversity in associated crustose coralline algae than in maerl-forming species. Nine taxa of crustose coralline algae were found in both study areas: four in Brittany and five in Galicia. Three species from Brittany were identified as Phymatolithon calcareum, Phymatolithon lamii, and Lithophyllum hibernicum. The remaining six ones were assigned to the genera Phymatolithon and Mesophyllum, along with Lithothamnion and Lithophyllum. Morpho-anatomical examination of diagnostic characters corroborated our molecular identification. Our results showed that the most representative genus of crustose coralline algae in Brittany was Phymatolithon, while in Galicia was Mesophyllum. In Brittany, Phymatolithon calcareum was found under both growth-forms, maerl and crustose coralline algae, the latter assigned to the gametophyte stage by the presence of uniporate conceptacles. The recruitment of new maerl plants involving associated crustose coralline algae with maerl beds may occur, but only we can affirm it for Phymatolithon calcareum in Brittany. By contrast, the different species composition between both growth-forms in the Galician maerl beds would indicate that the fragmentation of own free-living maerl species appears to be the most common propagation mechanism.


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How to Cite

Pardo, C., Bárbara, I., Barreiro, R., & Peña, V. (2017). Insights into species diversity of associated crustose coralline algae (Corallinophycidae, Rhodophyta) with Atlantic European maerl beds using DNA barcoding. Anales Del Jardín Botánico De Madrid, 74(2), e059.




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