Endophytic phaeophyceae from New Zealand
The aims of this study were to find endophytic brown algae in marine macroalgae from New Zealand, isolate them into culture and identify them using morphological as well as molecular markers, to study the prevalence of pigmented endophytes in a representative host-endophyte relationship, and to reveal the ultrastructure of the interface between the obligate parasite Herpodiscus durvillaeae (LINDAUER) SOUTH and its host Durvillaea antarctica (CHAMISSO) HARRIOT. Three species of pigmented endophytic Phaeophyceae were isolated from New Zealand macrophytes. They were distinguished based on morphological characters in culture, in combination with their distribution among different host species and symptoms associated with the infection of hosts. ITSl nrDNA sequences confirmed the identity of two of the species as Laminariocolax macrorystis (PETERS) PETERS in BURKHARDT & PETERS and Microspongium tenuissimum (HAUCK) PETERS. A new genus and species, Xiphophorocolax aotearoae gen. et sp. ined., is suggested for the third group of endophytic Phaeophyceae. Three genetic varieties of L. macrorystis as well as two varieties each of M. tenuissimum and X. aotearoae were present among the isolates. L. macrorystis and X. aotearoae constitute new records for the marine flora of the New Zealand archipelago, on genus and species level. The red algal endophyte Mzkroryphar pacchymeniae LINDAUER previously described from New Zealand is possibly synonymous with Microspongium tenuissimum. The prevalence of infection by Laminariocolax macrorystis was investigated in three populations of Macrorystis pyrifira along the Otago coast. Two of the populations situated inside and at the entrance of Otago Harbour showed high infection rates (average between 95 and 100%), while an offshore population was less infected (average of 35%). The phylogenetic affinities of the parasitic brown alga Herpodiscus durvillaeae, an obligate endophyte of Durvi!!aea antarctica (Fucales, Phaeophyceae) in New Zealand, were investigated. Analyses combined nuclear encoded ribosomal and plastid encoded RuBisCO genes. Results from parsimony, distance and likelihood methods suggest a placement of this species within the order Sphacelariales. Even though H. durvillaeae shows a reduced morphology, molecular data were supported by two morphological features characteristic for the Sphacelariales; the putative presence of apical cells and the transistory blackening of the cell wall with 'Eau de Javelle'. Ultrastructural sections showed evidence for a symplastic contact between the cells of the parasite H. durvillaeae and its host D. antarctica. Within the host cortex, parasite cells attack the fields of plasmodesmata connecting host cells. In these areas, parasite cells squeeze between the host cells and form secondary plasmodesmata connecting the primary plasmodesmata of the host cells with the cytoplasma of the parasite cell. Moreover, despite being described as lacking pigments, H. duroi!!aeae possesses a rbcL gene, and its plastids show red autofluorescence in UV light, suggesting the presence of a possibly reduced, but functional photosynthetic apparatus. Vestigial walls between developing spores in the 'secondary unilocular sporangia' of H. duroi!!aeae confirm the identity of these sporangia as plurilocular gametangia, derived from reduced gametophytes which were entirely transformed into gametangia.
Advisor: Hurd, Catriona; Peters, Akira (Roscoff, France)
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Botany
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis