Genetic and morphological differentiation of Porphyra and Pyropia species (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) coexisting in a rocky intertidal in Central Chile

Andrés Meynard, Javier Zapata, Nicolás Salas, Claudia Betancourtt, Gabriel Pérez-Lara, Francisco Castañeda, María Eliana Ramírez, Cristian Bulboa Contador, Marie Laure Guillemin, Loretto Contreras-Porcia

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11 Citations (Scopus)


A recent molecular taxonomic study along the Chilean coast (18° S–53° S) described 18 candidate species of bladed Bangiales of which only two were formally described. Few studies focused on local genetic and morphological diversity of bladed Bangiales and attempted to determine their intertidal distribution in contrasting habitats, and none were performed in Chile. To delimit intertidal distributions of genetic species, 66 samples of bladed Bangiales were collected at Maitencillo (32° S) in four zones: a rocky platform, a rocky wall, and two boulders zones surrounded by sandy and rocky bottoms, respectively. These samples were identified based on sequences of the mitochondrial COI and chloroplast rbcL markers. We also collected 87 specimens for morphological characterization of the most common species, rapidly assessing their putative species identity using newly developed species-diagnostic (PCR-RFLP) markers. Eight microscopic and two macroscopic morphological traits were measured. We described and named three of four species that predominate in Maitencillo (including Pyropia orbicularis): Pyropia variabilis Zapata, Meynard, Ramírez, Contreras-Porcia, sp. nov., Porphyra luchea Meynard, Ramírez, Contreras-Porcia sp. nov., and Porphyra longissima Meynard, Ramírez, Contreras-Porcia, sp. nov. With the exception of Po. longissima restricted to boulders surrounded by sandy bottom, and a morphotype of Py. variabilis restricted to rocky walls, the other species/morphotypes have overlapping intertidal distributions. Except for Po. longissima, which is clearly differentiated morphologically (longest and thinnest blades), we conclude that morphology is not sufficient to differentiate bladed Bangiales. Our findings underscore the importance of refining our knowledge of intrinsic and environmental determinants on the distribution of bladed Bangiales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-313
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Bangiales
  • Chile
  • COI
  • intertidal distribution
  • rbcL
  • taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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