As part of a long-term study on the biology and ecology of the intertidal kelp Lessonia nigrescens Bory, we report on the occurrence of gall development on this alga, identified the possible causal agent, and assessed the extent of the phenomenon in two wild stands of the host. Our results showed that galls affecting natural populations of L. nigrescens were associated with the infection by a filamentous brown algal endophyte of the genus Laminariocolax. Assignment to Laminariocolax of the endophytes isolated from cultured gall tissue was based on the (i) high internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) sequence similarity and phylogenetic relationship between the Chilean isolates and several species of the genus Laminariocolax endophytic in other kelps, (ii) reproductive and vegetative features of the endophyte in culture, and (iii) anatomical agreement of fully developed galls of Lessonia with those described for other kelp galls caused by endophytic members of Laminariocolax. Unequivocal identification at the species level of the endophytes infecting Lessonia, however, awaits further studies.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Ciencias acuáticas