Oliveira-Carvalho M.F., Oliveira M.C., Barreto-Pereira S.M. & Verbruggen H. (2012)
Phylogenetic analysis of Brazilian Codium species, including the new species C. pernambucensis
European Journal of Phycology 47: 355-365


The genus Codium comprises ca. 125 species widely distributed in marine coastal environments throughout the world. Due to morphological plasticity, the taxonomic delimitation of Codium species can be difficult. Sequences of the first exon of the large subunit of RUBISCO (rbcL) have been used in the molecular delimitation of species and for phylogenetic purposes. In the present study, we complement previous morphological work on Brazilian Codium species with molecular systematics. Based on the partial rbcL sequences, seven species are recognized along the Brazilian coast: C. decorticatum, C. intertextum, C. isthmocladum, C. profundum, C. spongiosum, C. taylorii and the new species Codium pernambucensis. Ten unique sequences were obtained among the samples examined, which we used in combination with previously published sequences to infer molecular phylogenies using various methods. The resulting trees showed three principal monophyletic groupings: group A with species having a prostrate habit, not branched, and mostly with small, grouped utricles; group B primarily consisting of upright species with cylindrical branches and large individual utricles; and group C composed of upright species with cylindrical branches that are slightly flattened, and have intermediate-sized individual utricles. The Brazilian species grouped with morphologically similar taxa from other geographic localities, and are present in all three main clades. A new sprawling species, Codium pernambucensis is described based on morphology and molecular analyses.

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