Why one species in New Zealand, Pugetia delicatissima (Kallymeniaceae, Rhodophyta), should become two new genera, Judithia gen. nov. and Wendya gen. nov.
journal contributionposted on 23.08.2020 by R D’Archino, SM Lin, PW Gabrielson, Giuseppe Zuccarello
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© 2015 British Phycological Society. Blade-forming red algae occur worldwide and, prior to DNA sequencing, had been notoriously difficult to identify and classify, especially when lacking critical reproductive features. This, coupled in New Zealand with many longstanding assumptions that taxa were identical to non-New Zealand species or genera, resulted in many misapplied names. Pugetia delicatissima R.E. Norris, an endemic New Zealand blade-forming species of the family Kallymeniaceae, is actually comprised of one existing and one new species belonging to two distinct genera, as established by our phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequences from the rbcL gene. Analyses of combined rbcL and LSU genes showed that neither is closely related to the generitype of Pugetia, the northern-eastern Pacific, P. fragilissima Kylin. We propose the names Judithia and Wendya for these two newly revealed genera. In addition to diagnostic rbcL and LSU sequences, Judithia is morphologically and anatomically characterized by rounded to oblong blades that do not taper basally at the stipe, loosely aggregated surface cortical cells and cystocarps lacking both a pericarp and an ostiole, all features observed in the holotype of P. delicatissima. Wendya, in contrast, is characterized by blades that taper both apically and basally, compactly arranged surface cortical cells and cystocarps that have both a pericarp and a distinct ostiole. The two genera also are distinguished from one other, as well as from Pugetia by features of pre- and post-fertilization development, including the number of subsidiary cells produced on carpogonial and auxiliary branch systems, whether subsidiary cells in the carpogonial branch system fuse with the supporting cell or not, and the site of origin of gonimoblast cells. Although small in area, New Zealand hosts ten of the 27 currently recognized genera in the Kallymeniaceae and is the southern-hemisphere region of greatest generic diversification in this family.