DNA barcoding of a new record of epi-endophytic green algae Ulvella leptochaete (Ulvellaceae, Chlorophyta) in India
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Epi-endophytic green algae comprise one of the most diverse and phylogenetically primitive groups of green algae and are considered to be ubiquitous in the world’s oceans; however, no reports of these algae exist from India. Here we report the serendipitous discovery of Ulvella growing on intertidal green algae Cladophora glomerata and benthic red algae Laurencia obtusa collected from India. DNA barcodes at nuclear ribosomal DNA Internal Transcriber Spacer (nrDNA ITS) 1 and 2 regions for Indian isolates from the west and east coasts have been generated for the first time. Based on morphology and DNA barcoding, isolates were identified as Ulvella leptochaete. Phylogenetic reconstruction of concatenated dataset using Maximum Likelihood method differentiated Indian isolates from other accessions of this alga available in Genbank, albeit with low bootstrap support. Monophyly of Ulvella leptochaete was obvious in both of our phylogenetic analyses. With this first report of epi-endophytic algae from Indian territorial waters, the dire need to catalogue its cryptic diversity is highlighted and avenues of future research are discussed.
KeywordsAcrochaete DNA barcoding endophyte epiphyte ITS marine biodiversity microalgae
We are grateful to the Vice chancellor, Central University of Punjab, for the support that he extended to materialize this study. This work is supported with Department of Science and Technology, India, INSPIRE Faculty Award (IFA-LSPA-02) awarded to FB.
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