Life history variation in Dasya ocellata (Dasyaceae, Rhodophyta)

Christine Maggs

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Four of the five members of the Dasyaceae found in the British Isles, Dasya corymbifera J. Agardh, Dasya hutchinsiae Harvey, Dasya punicea Meneghini ex Zanardini and Heterosiphonia plumosa (Ellis) Batters, appear to have Polysiphonia-type life histories on the basis of evidence from field collections of tetrasporophytes and gametophytes. In collections from the British Isles of the fifth species, Dasya ocellata (Grateloup) Harvey, only tetrasporophytes have ever been observed, but there are two reports of gametophytes in this species from further south in Europe. Dasya ocellata tetraspores were isolated into culture from populations in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, and Agadir, Morocco, where one female thallus was collected amongst tetrasporophytes. Dasya ocellata from Ireland underwent a direct tetraspore-to-tetrasporophyte life history, which was followed through two complete cycles. Karyological studies showed that meiosis does not occur during tetrasporangial development: tetrasporangia are mitotic, with c. 64 small chromosomes. Comparison with chromosome numbers in meiotic tetrasporangia of D. hutchinsiae (n = c. 32) showed that this is the diploid chromosome complement. Tetraspores from the Moroccan isolate, by contrast, gave rise to gametophytes (although only the males became fertile) and tetrasporophyte recycling did not occur. Thalli sampled from a population in southern Portugal consisted only of tetrasporophytes. Dasya ocellata, like many members of the Ceramiales, shows intraspecific life history variability; a sexual life history apparently occurs only in southern populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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