Nuclear DNA Content Estimates in Multicellular Green, Red and Brown Algae: Phylogenetic Considerations

January 2005
Annals of Botany;Jan2005, Vol. 95 Issue 1, p7
Academic Journal
• Background and Aims Multicellular eukaryotic algae are phylogenetically disparate. Nuclear DNA content estimates have been published for fewer than 1 % of the described species of Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta. The present investigation aims to summarize the state of our knowledge and to add substantially to our database of C-values for theses algae.• Methods The DNA-localizing fluorochrome DAPI (4′, 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) and RBC (chicken erythrocyte) standard were used to estimate 2C values with static microspectrophotometry.• Key Results 2C DNA contents for 85 species of Chlorophyta range from 0·2–6·1 pg, excluding the highly polyploidy Charales and Desmidiales with DNA contents of up to 39·2 and 20·7 pg, respectively. 2C DNA contents for 111 species of Rhodophyta range from 0·1–2·8 pg, and for 44 species of Phaeophyta range from 0·2–1·8 pg.• Conclusions New availability of consensus higher-level molecular phylogenies provides a framework for viewing C-value data in a phylogenetic context. Both DNA content ranges and mean values are greater in taxa considered to be basal. It is proposed that the basal, ancestral genome in each algal group was quite small. Both mechanistic and ecological processes are discussed that could have produced the observed C-value ranges.


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