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Phylogeny and morphology of genus Nephrocytium (Sphaeropleales, Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta) from China

XUDONG LIU, HUAN ZHU, BENWEN LIU, GUOXIANG LIU, ZHENGYU HU

Abstract


The genus Nephrocytium Nägeli is a common member of phytoplankton communities that has a distinctive morphology. Its taxonomic position is traditionally considered to be within the family Oocystaceae (Trebouxiophyceae). However, research on its ultrastructure is rare, and the phylogenetic position has not yet been determined. In this study, two strains of Nephrocytium, N. agardhianum Nägeli and N. limneticum (G.M.Smith) G.M.Smith, were identified and successfully cultured in the laboratory. Morphological inspection by light and electron microscopy and molecular phylogenetic analyses were performed to explore the taxonomic position. Ultrastructure implied a likely irregular network of dense and fine ribs on the surface of the daughter cell wall that resembled that of the genus Chromochloris Kol & Chodat (Chromochloridaceae). Phylogenetic analyses revealed that Nephrocytium formed an independent lineage in the order Sphaeropleales (Chlorophyceae) with high support values and a close phylogenetic relationship with Chromochloris. Based on combined morphological, ultrastructural and phylogenetic data, we propose a re-classification of Nephrocytium into Sphaeropleales, sharing a close relationship with Chromochloris.


Keywords


Chromochloris, Nephrocytium agardhianum, Nephrocytium limneticum, Oocystaceae, Sphaeropleales, ultrastructure, Algae

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.319.1.4

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ISSN 1179-3155 (print); ISSN 1179-3163 (online)

Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand