Cryptic species diversity of ochtodenes-producing Portieria species (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) from the northwest Pacific

  • Received : 2018.04.16
  • Accepted : 2018.07.30
  • Published : 2018.09.15


Red algae in the genus Portieria produce secondary halogenated monoterpenes, which are effective deterrents against herbivores, as secondary metabolites. Portieria hornemannii samples from various sites contain different concentrations of these metabolites, suggesting the existence of genetic diversity and cryptic species. To evaluate the genetic diversity and species distribution of Portieria in the northwest Pacific, we analyzed rbcL sequences of samples collected from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. The phylogenetic analysis revealed five distinct lineages at the species level. One was recognized as Portieria japonica and the others were cryptic lineages in P. hornemannii. The rbcL haplotypes of P. japonica were genetically fragmented into two subgroups of geographic origin; Korean and Japanese. The four cryptic lineages within P. hornemannii were also geographically structured at a much finer scale. These results suggest that different genetic lineages in Portieria evolved from variable microhabitats, consequently influencing secondary metabolites. Further study is required to resolve the relationships between genetic and secondary metabolite variations in Portieria.


Supported by : Jeju National University


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