August 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Vis Wins Award for Best Phylogeny/Taxonomy Poster at International Phycological Congress


Dr. Morgan Vis

Dr. Morgan Vis, Professor and Chair of Environmental & Plant Biology, attended the 11th International Phycological Congresss in Szczecin, Poland in August.

Vis presented a poster on “Systematic Revision of the sister genera Lemanea and Paralemanea (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta).” She and her co-authors (K. Müller, J. Kwandrans, R. Sheath, P. Eloranta, M. Aboal and P. Sanchez) received the George F. Papenfuss Award for Best Poster in Phylogeny and Taxonomy.

Abstract: The freshwater red algal genera Lemanea and Paralemanea are common members of the freshwater flora in North America and Europe, but have been reported from other continents sporadically. They inhabit streams with high current velocities and grow in lawns on large boulders and bedrock.  The two genera are easily distinguishable from each other using multiple morphological characteristics. Although the genera are easily identified, determination of species based on morphology can be challenging. The present study was undertaken to use both molecular tools for species delimitation and to provide morphological characteristics for species identification, whenever possible. For Lemanea, 147 sequences were generated with 43 unique sequences used for phylogenetic analyses. Likewise, for Paralemanea, 51 and 27 sequences were available, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses showed that each genus formed a highly supported clade. Within genera, there were numerous well-supported clades. Interestingly, most clades contained specimens that were geographically related; in both Lemanea and Paralemanea the North American specimens were distinguished from the European specimens. Furthermore, there was a division between eastern and western North America for both genera. The only exception was a specimen from Newfoundland, Canada that was related to two specimens from Finland identified morphologically as Lemanea condensata. There were three specimens that were separated from other clades on long branches, including a specimen from the type locality in California of Paralemanea tulensis, a yet to be named Paralemana from Kenya and the recently published Lemanea manipurensis from India. In previous studies, European names have been applied to North American specimens, but it is clear from our findings that these names are not appropriate. Therefore, North American specimens will be re-evaluated for potential application to new epithets based on the clades. Most of the European specimens will retain the names previously applied in the literature.

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