Conspecificity of the model organism Ulva mutabilis and Ulva compressa (Ulvophyceae, Chlorophyta).


As one of the most abundant and ubiquitous representatives of marine and brackish coastal macrophytobenthos communities, the genus Ulva is not only an important primary producer but also of ecological and morphogenetic interest to many scientists. Ulva mutabilis became an important model organism to study morphogenesis and mutualistic interactions of macroalgae and microorganisms. Here, we report that our collections of Ulva compressa Linnaeus (1753) from Germany are conspecific with the type strains of the model organism U. mutabilis Foyn (1958), which were originally collected at Olhao on the south coast of Portugal and have from that time on been maintained in culture as gametophytic and parthenogenetic lab strains. Different approaches were used to test conspecificity: (i) comparisons of vegetative and reproductive features of cultured material of U. mutabilis and German U. compressa demonstrated a shared morphological pattern; (ii) gametes of U. compressa and U. mutabilis successfully mated and developed into fertile sporophytic first-generation offspring; (iii) molecular phylogenetics and species delimitation analyses based on the Generalized Mixed Yule-Coalescent method showed that U. mutabilis isolates (sl-G[mt+]) and (wt-G[mt-]) and U. compressa belong to a unique Molecular Operational Taxonomic Unit. According to these findings, there is sufficient evidence that U. mutabilis and U. compressa should be regarded as conspecific.


PubMed ID: 30367499

Projects: A1

Publication type: Journal

Journal: J Phycol

Citation: J Phycol. 2019 Feb;55(1):25-36. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12804. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Date Published: 28th Oct 2018

Registered Mode: by PubMed ID

Authors: S. Steinhagen, A. Barco, T. Wichard, F. Weinberger

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Created: 18th Nov 2020 at 16:49

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