Updating the genus dictyosphaerium and description of mucidosphaerium gen. nov. (trebouxiophyceae) based on morphological and molecular data
Recent molecular analyses of Dictyosphaerium strains revealed a polyphyletic origin of this morphotype within the Chlorellaceae. The type species Dictyosphaerium ehrenbergianum Nägeli formed an independent lineage within the Parachlorella clade, assigning the genus to this clade. Our study focused on three different Dictyosphaerium species to resolve the phylogenetic position of remaining species. We used combined analyses of morphology; molecular data based on SSU and internally transcribed spacer region (ITS) rRNA sequences; and the comparison of the secondary structure of the SSU, ITS-1, and ITS-2 for species and generic delineation. The phylogenetic analyses revealed two lineages without generic assignment and two distinct clades of Dictyosphaerium-like strains within the Parachlorella clade. One clade comprises the lineages with the epitype strain of D. ehrenbergianum Nägeli and two additional lineages that are described as new species (Dictyosphaerium libertatis sp. nov. and Dictyosphaerium lacustre sp. nov.). An emendation of the genus Dictyosphaerium is proposed. The second clade comprises the species Dictyosphaerium sphagnale Hindák and Dictyosphaerium pulchellum H. C. Wood. On the basis of phylogenetic analyses, complementary base changes, and morphology, we describe Mucidosphaerium gen. nov with the four species Mucidosphaerium sphagnale comb. nov., Mucidosphaerium pulchellum comb. nov., Mucidosphaerium palustre sp. nov., and Mucidosphaerium planctonicum sp. nov.
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