Wetherbee R. & Verbruggen H. (2016)
Kraftionema allantoideum, a new genus and family of Ulotrichales (Chlorophyta) adapted for survival in high intertidal pools
Journal of Phycology 52: 704-715


The marine, sand-dwelling green alga Kraftionema allantoideum gen. et sp. nov. is described from clonal cultures established from samples collected in coastal, high intertidal pools from south-eastern Australia. The species forms microscopic, uniseriate, unbranched, 6-8 ?m wide filaments surrounded by a gelatinous capsule of varying thickness. Filaments are twisted, knotted and variable in length from 450 cells in field samples but straighter and much longer in culture, up to 1.5 mm in length. Cell division occurs in several planes, resulting in daughter cells of varying shape, from square to rectangular to triangular, giving rise to gnarled filaments. Mature cells become allantoid elongate with rounded ends before dividing one time to form bicells comprised of two domed cells. Adjacent bicells separate from one another and mature filaments appeared as a string of loosely arranged sausages. A massive, single, banded chloroplast covered of the wall circumference and contained a single large pyrenoid encased in a starch envelope that measures 1.5 2.5 ?m. Filaments were not adhesive nor did they produce specialized adhesive cells or structures. Reproduction was by fragmentation with all cells capable of producing a new filament. No motile or reproductive cells were observed. Filaments in culture grew equally well in freshwater or marine media as well as at high salinity, and cells quickly recovered from desiccation. Phylogenetic analysis based on the nuclear-encoded small subunit ribosomal RNA (18S) shows the early-branching nature of the Kraftionema lineage among Ulotrichales, warranting its recognition as a family (Kraftionemaceae).

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