Marine Biology

, Volume 147, Issue 4, pp 999–1015 | Cite as

Polymorphism in the brown alga Dictyota dichotoma (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae) from Korea

  • Il-Ki Hwang
  • Hyung-Seop Kim
  • Wook Jae Lee
Research Article


Two morphotypes of Dictyota dichotoma of uncertain taxonomic status have been identified in Korea. The broad thallus type is common on the south and east coasts of Korea, and is similar to European D. dichotoma in gross morphology. The slender thallus type is only found on the west coast. Morphological differences between the two plant types are evident in their thallus width, their terminal bifurcations, the shapes of apices, and their thallus thickness. The differences in the size and shape of the tetrasporangia and tetraspores are also notable. Plants from the east coast exhibit a dominant asexual annual life-cycle involving sporophytes but not gametophytes, and maintain their population by the production of in-situ germlings. In the slender plants from the west coast, a sexual life-cycle dominates. The rbcL, rbcS, psaA and psbA gene sequence differences between the two morphotypes were congruent with morphological, anatomical and phenological characteristics. In spite of these differences, there is no known inbreeding barrier between these two morphotypes. The Lm/Lc values of the second internodes from two types are also within the range of the species criterion specified by Hörnig et al. These results suggest that the two types of D. dichotoma from Korea should be classified as a single species and that they may be in the process of speciation due to geographical isolation (allopatric speciation).


West Coast East Coast Fertilization Rate Asexual Reproduction Female Gametophyte 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was partially supported by KRF Grant 2002-070-C00083 to W.J. Lee.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyKangnung National UniversityGangnungKorea
  2. 2.Department of BiologyChungnam National UniversityDaejeonKorea

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