Kappaphycus malesianus sp. nov.: a new species of Kappaphycus (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) from Southeast Asia
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A new species, Kappaphycus malesianus, is established as a new member of the genus Kappaphycus. Locally known as the “Aring-aring” variety by farmers in Malaysia and the Philippines, this variety has been commercially cultivated, often together with Kappaphycus alvarezii due to the similarities in morphology. Despite also producing kappa-carrageenan, the lower biomass of the K. malesianus when mixed with K. alvarezii ultimately affects the carrageenan yield. Morphological observations, on both wild and cultivated plants, coupled with molecular data have shown K. malesianus to be genetically distinct from its Kappaphycus congeners. The present study describes the morphology and anatomy of this new species as supported by DNA data, with additional morphological features for distinguishing between commercial Kappaphycus cultivars.
KeywordsKappaphycus Carrageenophyte Phylogenetics
The authors would like to thank Mr. Hakim and Mr. Hafiz from Madesjaya Sdn. Bhd. as well as Associate Prof. Dr. Suhaimi Md. Yasir and Japson Wong for their relentless support in sampling. We also thank Dr. Stefano Draisma for finding and collecting a K. cottonii sample, one of the first, from Sabah, Malaysia. We are grateful to Ng Poh Kheng, Poong Sze Wan and Jelveh Sohrabipoor for giving valuable advices on morphology and microscopy. We thank University of Malaya and the Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences for providing research facilities. We also appreciate the loaning of herbaria from the Bishop Museum and the Natural History Museum London for morphological and molecular studies. This project is funded in part by the MoHE–HIR grant (H-50001-00-A000025), Department of Fisheries Malaysia (Grant Number: 53-02-03-1062) and University of Malaya, PPP (PV014/2011A). The sampling of Indonesian specimens was supported by the International Research Collaboration and International Publication from the Directorate General of Higher Education, Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture (190/SP2H/PL/Dit.Litabmas/IV/202).
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