A new species of marine algae from Korea based on morphology and molecular data: Gelidium palmatum sp. nov. (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta)

  • Boo, Ga Hun (Department of Biological Sciences, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Kim, Kyeong Mi (Department of Taxonomy, National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea)
  • Received : 2019.12.11
  • Accepted : 2020.03.06
  • Published : 2020.03.15


Two species of the agar-yielding genus Gelidium, G. galapagense and G. isabelae, have previously been reported from Korea but their occurrence has not been confirmed with molecular data. We intensively collected samples of Gelidium from Jeju Island, where the two species were reported, and the southern coast of Korea. Phylogenetic analyses based on cox1 and rbcL sequences revealed that only a single species occurred in Korea. The Korean species was distantly related to G. galapagense and G. isabelae from the Galápagos Islands, and formed a clade with G. microdonticum, G. millarianum, and G. pakistanicum. A new species, G. palmatum, is described for those specimens that were previously recognized as either G. galapagense or G. isabelae from Korea. G. palmatum is small in size (up to 0.7 cm), with compressed, lanceolate axes, irregular, digitate to palmate branches, abundant rhizines in the medulla, tetrasporangial sori without sterile margins, and rounded bilocular cystocarps borne subapically on palmate branchlets.


  1. Afaq-Husain, S. & Shameel, M. 1997. Observations on Gelidium pusillum (Stackh.) Le Jolis (Rhodophyta) from the coast of Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot. 29:185-190.
  2. Afaq-Husain, S. & Shameel, M. 1999. Further studies on Gelidium (Rhodophyta) from the coast of Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot. 31:371-382.
  3. Boo, G. H. & Hughey, J. R. 2019. Phylogenomics and multigene phylogenies decipher two new cryptic marine algae from California, Gelidium gabrielsonii and G. kathyanniae (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 55:160-172.
  4. Boo, G. H., Hughey, J. R., Miller, K. A. & Boo, S. M. 2016a. Mitogenomes from type specimens, a genotyping tool for morphologically simple species: ten genomes of agarproducing red algae. Sci. Rep. 6:35337.
  5. Boo, G. H., Kim, K. M., Nelson, W. A., Riosmena-Rodriguez, R., Yoon, K. J. & Boo, S. M. 2014. Taxonomy and distribution of selected species of the agarophyte genus Gelidium (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta). J. Appl. Phycol. 26:1243-1251.
  6. Boo, G. H., Le Gall, L., Miller, K. A., Freshwater, D. W., Wernberg, T., Terada, R., Yoon, K. J. & Boo, S. M. 2016b. A novel phylogeny of the Gelidiales (Rhodophyta) based on five genes including the nuclear CesA, with descriptions of Orthogonacladia gen. nov. and Orthogonacladiaceae fam. nov. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 101:359-372.
  7. Boo, G. H., Park, J. K. & Boo, S. M. 2013. Gelidiophycus (Rhodophyta: Gelidiales): a new genus of marine algae from East Asia. Taxon 62:1105-1116.
  8. Brunelli, B., Jamas, M., Milstein, D., Boo, S. M. & Fujii, M. T. 2019. Gelidium brasiliense sp. nov. (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta): a diminutive agarophyte from Brazil. J. Appl. Phycol. 31:951-958.
  9. Callaway, E. 2015. Lap staple agar hit by seaweed shortage. Nature 528:171-172.
  10. Chen, Y. W., Lee, H. V., Juan, J. C. & Phang, S. -M. 2016. Production of new cellulose nanomaterial from red algae marine biomass Gelidium elegans. Carbohydr. Polym. 151:1210-1219.
  11. Darriba, D., Taboada, G. L., Doallo, R. & Posada, D. 2012. jModelTest 2: more models, new heuristics and parallel computing. Nat. Methods 9:772.
  12. Freshwater, D. W., Fredericq, S. & Hommersand, M. H. 1995. A molecular phylogeny of the Gelidiales (Rhodophyta) based on analysis of plastid rbcL nucleotide sequences. J. Phycol. 31:616-632.
  13. Freshwater, D. W. & Rueness, J. 1994. Phylogenetic relationships of some European Gelidium (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) species, based on rbcL nucleotide sequence analysis. Phycologia 33:187-194.
  14. Freshwater, D. W. & Shahnaz, L. 2019. Phylogenetic relationships of Pakistan Gelidium (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) species with recognition of Gelidium pakistanicum stat. nov. Bot. Mar. 62:141-147.
  15. Freshwater, D. W., Tudor, K., O'Shaughnessy, K. & Wysor, B. 2010. DNA barcoding in the red algal order Gelidiales: comparison of COI with rbcL and verification of the "barcoding gap". Cryptogam. Algol. 31:435-449.
  16. Gavio, B. & Fredericq, S. 2002. Grateloupia turuturu (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) is the correct name of the nonnative species in the Atlantic known as Grateloupia doryphora. Eur. J. Phycol. 37:349-359.
  17. Geraldino, P. J. L., Yang, E. C. & Boo, S. M. 2006. Morphology and molecular phylogeny of Hypnea flexicaulis (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) from Korea. Algae 21:417-423.
  18. Guiry, M. D. & Guiry, G. M. 2019. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. Available from: Accessed Nov 22, 2019.
  19. Kim, H. S. & Hwang, I. K. 2015. Algal flora of Korea. Vol. 4, No. 10. Rhodophyta: Florideophyceae: Gelidiales, Gracilariales, Procamiales. Marine red algae. National Institute of Biological Resources, Incheon, 143 pp.
  20. Kim, K. M. & Boo, S. M. 2012. Phylogenetic relationships and distribution of Gelidium crinale and G. pusillum (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) using cox1 and rbcL sequences. Algae 27:83-94.
  21. Kim, K. M., Hwang, I. K., Park, J. K. & Boo, S. M. 2011. A new agarophyte species, Gelidium eucorneum sp. nov. (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta), based on molecular and morphological data. J. Phycol. 47:904-910.
  22. Kim, K. M., Hwang, I. K., Yoon, H. S. & Boo, S. M. 2012. Four novel Gelidium species (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) discovered in Korea: G. coreanum, G. jejuensis, G. minimum and G. prostratum. Phycologia 51:461-474.
  23. Kumar, S., Stecher, G. & Tamura, K. 2016. MEGA7: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets. Mol. Biol. Evol. 33:1870-1874.
  24. Lee, H. B. 1994. Some species of Gelidium (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) from Korea. In Abbott, I. A. (Ed.) Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds with Reference to Some Pacific and Caribbean Species. Vol. IV. California Sea Grant College System, La Jolla, CA, pp. 67-79.
  25. Lee, H. B. & Kim, J. I. 1995. Notes on Gelidiales species from Korea. In Abbott, I. A. (Ed.) Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds with Reference to Some Pacific Species. Vol. V. California Sea Grant College System, La Jolla, CA, pp. 161-174.
  26. Lee, Y. P. 1988. Taxonomic studies on the Gelidiaceae (Rhodophyta) in Cheju Island. I. Some members of Gelidium. Korean J. Plant Taxon. 18:95-113.
  27. Lee, Y. P. 2008. Marine algae of Jeju. Academic Press, Seoul, 477 pp.
  28. Lee, Y., Kim, B. & Kim, M. 2005. New records of marine algae from Jeju Island, Korea. J. Fish. Sci. Technol. 8:97-108.
  29. Lin, S. -M., Fredericq, S. & Hommersand, M. H. 2001. Systematics of the Delesseriaceae (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) based on large subunit rDNA and rbcL sequences, including the Phycodryoideae subfam. nov. J. Phycol. 37:881-899.
  30. Lin, S. -M., Liu, L. -C., Guiry, M. D., Ang, P. Jr. & Hsueh, H. -J. 2018. A reassessment of Gelidium divaricatum G. Martens (Gelidiaceae, Rhodophyta) from Hong Kong, including Gelidiophycus hongkongensis sp. nov. Phytotaxa 348:49-55.
  31. Millar, A. J. K. & Freshwater, D. W. 2005. Morphology and molecular phylogeny of the marine algal order Gelidiales (Rhodophyta) from New South Wales, including Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Aust. Syst. Bot. 18:215-263.
  32. N'Yeurt, A. D. R. & Payri, C. E. 2010. Marine algal flora of French Polynesia III. Rhodophyta, with additions to the Phaeophyceae and Chlorophyta. Cryptogam. Algol. 31:3-205.
  33. Perrone, C., Bottalico, A., Boo, G. H., Boo, S. M., Miller, K. A. & Freshwater D. W. 2019. Gelidium adriaticum sp. nov. and Gelidium carolinianum sp. nov. (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) from the Mediterranean Sea. Phycologia 58:359-373.
  34. Ronquist, F., Teslenko, M., van Der Mark, P., Ayres, D. L., Darling, A., Hohna, S., Larget, B., Liu, L., Suchard, M. A. & Huelsenbeck, J. P. 2012. MrBayes 3.2: efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Syst. Biol. 61:539-542.
  35. Silva, P. C., Menez, E. G. & Moe, R. L. 1987. Catalog of the benthic marine algae of the Philippines. Smithson. Contrib. Mar. Sci. 27:1-179.
  36. Sohn, C. H. & Kang, J. W. 1978. The classification of family Gelidiaceae (Rhodophyta) in Korea. Publ. Inst. Mar. Sci. Nat. Fish. Univ. Busan 11:29-40.
  37. Stamatakis, A. 2014. RAxML version 8: a tool for phylogenetic analysis and post-analysis of large phylogenies. Bioinformatics 30:1312-1313.
  38. Taylor, W. R. 1945. Pacific marine algae of the Allan Hancock Expeditions to the Galapagos Islands. Allan Hancock Pac. Exped. 12:1-528.
  39. Thiers, B. 2019. Continuously updated. Index Herbariorum: a global directory of public herbaria and associated staff. New York Botanical Garden's Virtual Herbarium. Available from: Accessed Nov 20, 2019.
  40. Yoshida, T. 1998. Marine algae of Japan. Uchida Rokakuho Publ. Co., Tokyo, 1222 pp.