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Morphology of Chondrophycus undulata and C. parvipapillata and its implications for the taxonomy of the Laurencia (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) complex

  • KI WAN NAM (a1)


Laurencia Lamouroux subgenus Chondrophycus Tokida et Saito was recently raised to generic status as Chondrophycus (Tokida et Saito) Garbary et Harper (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta). The previously unknown morphology and anatomy of two Chondrophycus species, C. undulata (Yamada) Garbary et Harper and C. parvipapillata (C.K. Tseng) Garbary et Harper, were studied in specimens from Korea, Japan and Hawaii. These species share some features, such as a strongly compressed thallus, vegetative axes with two pericentral cells, tetrasporangial production from pericentral cells and spermatangial development of the trichoblast type. However, they differ from each other in the position of the first pericentral cell relative to the trichoblast in axial segments and in the position of the tetrasporangial pericentral cell. In C. undulata, the first pericentral cell is always produced at one side of the basal cell of a trichoblast, whereas in C. parvipapillata it is formed underneath this cell. While tetrasporangia in C. undulata are produced only from three (occasionally four) additional pericentral cells, in C. parvipapillata they are formed by the existing second pericentral cell and two (occasionally three) additional pericentral cells, so the resulting tetrasporangial axial segment has only one sterile pericentral cell rather than two as in C. undulata. C. undulata produces spermatangial branches from two laterals on the suprabasal cell of trichoblasts but one of the two remains partly sterile, whereas in C. parvipapillata a spermatangial branch develops from only one of the two laterals. These two species also differ distinctly from each other in some vegetative features, such as presence or absence of (1) secondary pit connections between epidermal cells, (2) a palisade structure of epidermal cells with conical projections and (3) corps en cerise. The taxonomic implications of these vegetative and reproductive features of Chondrophycus and those of other genera of the Laurencia complex necessitate changes to the generic delineations of Osmundea Stackhouse, Laurencia and Chondrophycus. The required new combinations in Chondrophycus are made, mainly for species from the western Pacific. An infrageneric classification scheme is also proposed for Chondrophycus including Kangjaewonia subgen. nov., Palisada (Yamada) subgen. stat. nov., Yuzurua subgen. nov. and Parvipapillatae sect. nov.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: K. W. Nam. Fax: +82 51 628 7430. e-mail:



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