Vegetative and reproductive development of some European and Californian species of Laurencia Lamouroux (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta), L. obtusa (Hudson) Lamouroux, L. spectabilis Postels et Ruprecht, L. crispa Hollenberg, L. osmunda (S.G. Gmelin) Maggs et Hommersand, L. pinnatifida (Hudson) Lamouroux and L. truncata Kutzing, is investigated on the basis of liquid-preserved and herbarium specimens. The latter five species share several features, but they differ distinctly from L. obtusa, the lectotype of the genus, in essential anatomical characters of vegetative and male reproductive structures and tetrasporangial development. In these five species each vegetative axial segment produces two rather than four pericentral cells, and spermatangial branches (filaments) are produced in apical pits of branchlets from apical and epidermal cells rather than from trichoblasts arising from axial cells. The spermatangial branches are usually branched alternately and usually terminate in a cluster of several large sterile vesicular cells, rather than being branched dichotomously and terminating in a single, or occasionally a row of two, large sterile vesicular cells as in L. obtusa. Apical spermatangial pits of fertile male branchlets (except for those in L. truncata) are pocket- (or urn)-shaped, with an ostiole-like upper opening, rather than cup- (or bowl)-shaped. In these five species tetrasporangia are produced laterally from random epidermal cells rather than abaxially from particular pericentral cells (the third and fourth ones) as in L. obtusa, and the two presporangial cover cells are aligned parallel rather than transverse to the stichidial axis in surface view. These important differences strongly suggest that L. spectabilis, L. crispa, L. osmunda, L. pinnatifida and L. truncata occupy a phylogenetically different position from L. obtusa, and lead to the conclusion that the genus Osmundea Stackhouse, which was based on 0. expansa Stackhouse, nom. illeg. (= Laurencia osmunda) and which has been a nomen rejiciendum as an earlier facultative synonym of Laurencia, should be resurrected. Emendations of the generic criteria of Laurencia and Osmundea are proposed here, and relevant nomenclatural changes for several Laurencia species are also included.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|