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Studies of the Liagoraceae (rhodophyta) of Western Australia:Gloiotrichus fractalisgen. et sp. nov. andGanonema helminthaxissp. nov.

Huisman, J.M. and Kraft, G.T. (1994) Studies of the Liagoraceae (rhodophyta) of Western Australia:Gloiotrichus fractalisgen. et sp. nov. andGanonema helminthaxissp. nov. European Journal of Phycology, 29 (2). pp. 73-85.

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Two new taxa of Liagoraceae (Nemaliales) are described from Western Australia. Gloiotrichus fractalis gen. et sp. nov. has been collected from 3–20 m depths at the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia. Plants are calcified, extremely lubricous, and grow to 17 cm in length. Carpogonial branches are straight, 6 or 7 cells in length, arise from the basal or lower cells of cortical fascicles, and are occasionally compound. Branched sterile filaments of narrow elongate cells arise on the lower cells of the carpogonial branch prior to gonimoblast initiation, at first on the basal cells, then on progressively more distal cells. Following presumed fertilisation the carpogonium divides transversely, with both cells giving rise to gonimoblast filaments. The distal cells of the carpogonial branch then begin to fuse, with fusion progressing proximally until most of the cells of the carpogonial branch are included. As fusion extends, the filaments on the carpogonial branch are reduced to the basal 2 or 3 cells. The gonimoblast is compact and bears terminal carposporangia. Spermatangial clusters arise on subterminal cells of the cortex, eventually displacing the terminal cells. The sequence of pre- and post-fertilisation events occurring in the new genus separates it from all others included in the Liagoraceae, although it appears to have close affinities with the uncalcified genus Nemalion. Ganonema helminthaxis sp. nov. was collected from 12 m depths at Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Plants are uncalcified and mucilaginous, the axes consisting of a few (< 10) primary medullary filaments, each cell of which gives rise to a cortical fascicle at alternate forks of the pseudodichotomies borne on successive medullary cells. Subsidiary (adventitious) filaments and rhizoids comprise the bulk of the thallus. Carpogonial branches are straight, (3-)4(-6) cells in length, arise on the basal 1–4 cells of the cortical fascicles, and are frequently compound. Carposporophytes develop from the upper of two daughter cells formed by a transverse division of the fertilised carpogonium. Ascending and descending sterile filaments girdle the carpogonial branch cells and arise mostly on the supporting cell prior to fertilisation. Ganonema helminthaxis is the first completely non-calcified member of the genus, and its reproductive and vegetative morphology supports the recognition of Ganonema as a genus independent from Liagora. Liagora codii Womersley is a southern Australian species displaying features of Ganonema, to which it is transferred.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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