Systematics of the marine microfilamentous green algae Uronema curvatum and Urospora microscopica (Chlorophyta)

F. Leliaert, J. Rueness, C. Boedeker, Christine Maggs, E. Cocquyt, H. Verbruggen, O. De Clerck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The microfilamentous green alga Uronema curvatum is widely distributed along the western and eastern coasts of the north Atlantic Ocean where it typically grows on crustose red algae and on haptera of kelps in subtidal habitats. The placement of this marine species in a genus of freshwater Chlorophyceae had been questioned. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of nuclear-encoded small and large subunit rDNA sequences reveal that U. curvatum is closely related to the ulvophycean order Cladophorales, with which it shares a number of morphological features, including a siphonocladous level of organization and zoidangial development. The divergent phylogenetic position of U. curvatum, sister to the rest of the Cladophorales, along with a combination of distinctive morphological features, such as the absence of pyrenoids, the diminutive size of the unbranched filaments and the discoid holdfast, warrants the recognition of a separate genus, Okellya, within a new family of Cladophorales, Okellyaceae. The epiphytic Urospora microscopica from Norway, which has been allied with U. curvatum, is revealed as a member of the cladophoralean genus Chaetomorpha and is herein transferred to that genus as C. norvegica nom. nov.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Phycology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science

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