Life history of the rare red alga Tsengia bairdii (=Platoma bairdii) (Nemastomataceae, Rhodophyta) from Scotland

Christine Maggs

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A single thallus of the rare red seaweed Tsengia bairdii (Farlow) K. Fan et Y.Fan( Platoma bairdii (Farlow) Kuckuck) (Nemastomataceae) was collected on a subtidal pebble on the west coast of Scotland. The terete gelatinous axes, which were only 7 mm high, were monoecious. They bore numerous cystocarps and a few spermatangia, which represent the first observation of male structures in this genus. Released carpospores grew into expanded basal discs that gave rise to erect axes bearing irregularly cruciate tetrasporangia. irregularly cruciate to zonate tetrasporangia were also formed on these basal discs. Karyological studies on dividing tetrasporocytes showed about 25 bodies, identified as paired meiotic chromosomes on the basis of their size in comparison to mitotic and meiotic chromosomes in other red algal species. These observations confirm the isomorphic life history inferred from early field collections and show that this species is monoecious. Tsengia bairdii is an extremely rare seaweed in Europe - it seems to be confined to sublittoral cobbles and has a temporally patchy distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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