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The taxonomy and life history of Gloiophloea (Galaxauraceae, Rhodophyta)

Huisman, J.M. (1987) The taxonomy and life history of Gloiophloea (Galaxauraceae, Rhodophyta). Phycologia, 26 (2). pp. 167-174.

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The red algal genus Gloiophloea J. Agardh (Galaxauraceae, Nemaliales) includes multiaxial, dichotomously branched plants that are composed internally of a filamentous central axis, radiating dichotomously branched medullary filaments, and a loose cortex of spherical, pigmented cells.

An examination of the three species presently included has shown that only the type species, G. scinaioides J. Agardh, should be maintained. Gloiophloea articulata Weber-van Bosse from Cargados Carajos, near Mauritius, is known only from a single collection of sterile plants. It differs from G. scinaioides in lacking an apical pit, having periclinal medullary filaments which loosely fill the internal cavity rather than being restricted to a central axis, and producing a cortex composed of files of closely appressing cells, rather than a loose matrix. Gloiophloea articulata appears more closely allied to the family Gymnoploeaceae of the order Gigartinales, in particular the genus Nemastoma J. Agardh. Sexual material needs to be examined, however, before the species can be placed without doubt. Gloiophloea perrinae Levring from southern Australia was distinguished from G. scinaioides in having a firmer texture and in minor differences in its cortical composition and cystocarp shape. Variations in these characters occur within the type species, however, and are probably due to age and growing conditions. Gloiophloea perrinae is therefore reduced to synonymy with G. scinaioides. In culture, carpospores of G. scinaioides give rise to a filamentous tetrasporophyte which produces cruciate tetrasporangia. Tetraspores in turn produce a filamentous protonemal gametophyte which gives rise to the fleshy gametophyte directly. The life history of Gloiophloea is therefore identical to that of the closely related genus Scinaia Bivona-Bernardi.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: International Phycological Society
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