Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 1239–1250 | Cite as

Novel species of the oomycete Olpidiopsis potentially threaten European red algal cultivation

  • Yacine Badis
  • Tatyana A. Klochkova
  • Martina Strittmatter
  • Andrea Garvetto
  • Pedro Murúa
  • J. Craig Sanderson
  • Gwang Hoon Kim
  • Claire M. M. GachonEmail author


The rapid growth of marine macroalgal cultivation amplifies the potential impacts of seaweed diseases. Here, we combine microscopy and molecular analysis to describe two novel European species, Olpidiopsis palmariae and O. muelleri spp. nov., that infect the commercially important red algae Palmaria and Porphyra, respectively. A Scottish variety of Olpidiopsis porphyrae, a devastating pathogen of Pyropia previously thought to be restricted to Japanese seaweed farms, is also described as O. porphyrae var. scotiae. In the light of their destructiveness in Asian farms, together with the global expansion of algal cultivation and pertaining seed trade, Olpidiopsis pathogens should be treated as a serious threat to the sustainability of red algal aquaculture. Our findings call for the documentation of seaweed pathogens and the creation of an international biosecurity framework to limit their spread.


Aquaculture Algal disease Algal parasite Barcoding Biosecurity Olpidiopsis Oomycete Rhodophyte 


Author contributions

CMMG, GHK, YB and TAK designed the experiments; CMMG and GHK supervised the research; YB, CMMG, GHK and JCS conducted the fieldwork; YB, TAK, MS, AG and PM conducted the laboratory work YB and CMMG wrote the manuscript with contributions from all co- authors. All authors gave final approval for publication.

Funding information

This work was financially supported by the UK NERC IOF Pump-priming + scheme (NE/L013223/1 – Y.B./C.M.M.G.), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation (ALFF No 642575 – A.G./C.M.M.G; EMBRIC No 654008 – C.M.M.G.), the Genomia fund (HERDIR – M.S), and a MASTS Visiting Fellowship Scheme (J.C.S.). P.M. was funded by Conicyt (BecasChile No. 72130422) for PhD studies at the University of Aberdeen, and by the NERCIOF Pump-priming (scheme NE/L013223/1) for activities at the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences. This work was partially supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea Grant (NRF-2015M1A5A1041804) funded to G.H.K. We are also grateful Duncan Smallman and Philip Kerrison for providing Palmaria specimens.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yacine Badis
    • 1
  • Tatyana A. Klochkova
    • 2
  • Martina Strittmatter
    • 1
    • 3
  • Andrea Garvetto
    • 1
  • Pedro Murúa
    • 1
    • 4
  • J. Craig Sanderson
    • 5
  • Gwang Hoon Kim
    • 6
  • Claire M. M. Gachon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Scottish Association for Marine ScienceScottish Marine InstituteObanUK
  2. 2.Kamchatka State Technical UniversityPetropavlovsk-KamchatskyRussia
  3. 3.Roscoff Biological StationPlace Georges TeissierRoscoffFrance
  4. 4.Aberdeen Oomycete Laboratory, College of Life Sciences and MedicineUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  5. 5.Institute of Marine and Antarctic StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  6. 6.Department of BiologyKongju National UniversityKongjuSouth Korea

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