Taxonomy and phylogeny of Osmundea (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) in Atlantic Europe

K.W. Nam, Christine Maggs, Lynne McIvor, Michael J Stanhope

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Two species of Osmundea Stackhouse (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) that occur in Atlantic Europe have been confused under the names Osmundea ramosissima (Oeder) Athanasiadis and Osmundea truncata (Kutzing) Nam et Maggs, regarded until now as a synonym of O. ramosissima, An epitype from its type locality (Stavanger, Norway) is selected for Osmundea ramosissima Athanasiadis, recognized here as a valid name for Fucus ramosissimus Oeder, nom. illeg. Details of vegetative and reproductive morphology of O. ramosissima are reported, based on material from France, the British Isles, and Helgoland. Osmundea ramosissima resembles other species of Osmundea in its vegetative axial segments with two pericentral cells and one trichoblast, spermatangial development from apical and epidermal cells (filament type), the formation of five pericentral cells in the procarp-bearing segment of the female trichoblast, and tetrasporangial production from random epidermal cells. Among the species of Osmundea, O. ramosissima is most similar to O. truncata. Both species have discoid holdfasts, secondary pit connections between epidermal cells, and cup-shaped spermatangial pits. They differ in that: (a) O. ramosissima lacks lenticular wail thickenings and refractive needle-like inclusions in medullary cells, both of which are present in O. truncata; (b) O. ramosissima has branched spermatangial filaments that terminate in a cluster of several cells, whereas in O. truncata the unbranched spermatangial filaments have a single large terminal sterile cell; and (c) cystocarps of O. ramosissima lack protuberant ostioles but ostioles are remarkably protuberant in o. truncata. Phylogenetic analyses of rbcL sequences of Laurencia obtusa (Hudson) Lamouroux and all five Atlantic European species of Osmundea, including the type species, strongly support the generic status of Osmundea. Osmundea ramosissima and O. truncata are closely related (5.2% sequence divergence) and form a well-supported clade sister to a clade consisting of O. pinnatifida (Hudson) Stack-house, O. osmunda Stackhouse and O. hybrida (A. P. de Candolle) Nam. The formation of secondary pit connections between epidermal cells is a synapomorphy for the O. ramosissima + O. truncata clade. The close relationship between species with cup-shaped spermatangial pits (Osmundea hybrida) and urn-shaped pits (Osmundea pinnatifida and Osmundea osmunda) shows that spermatangial pit shape is not an important phylogenetic character. Parsimony analysis of a morphological data set also supports the genus Osmundea but conflicts with the molecular trees in infrageneric relationships, placing O. hybrida basal within the Osmundea clade and grouping O. osmunda and O. pinnatifida but not O. truncata and O. ramosissima. A key to Osmundea species is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-772
Number of pages14
JournalJournal Of Phycology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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