Defining the major lineages of red algae (Rhodophyta)

Hwan Su Yoon, Kirsten M. Müller, Robert G. Sheath, Franklyn D. Ott, Debashish Bhattacharya

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217 Scopus citations


Previous phylogenetic studies of the Rhodophyta have provided a framework for understanding red algal phylogeny, but there still exists the need for a comprehensive analysis using a broad sampling of taxa and sufficient phylogenetic information to clearly define the major lineages. In this study, we determined 48 sequences of the PSI P700 chl a apoprotein A1 (psaA) and rbcL coding regions and established a robust red algal phylogeny to identify the major clades. The tree included most of the lineages of the Bangiophyceae (25 genera, 48 taxa). Seven well-supported lineages were identified with this analysis with the Cyanidiales having the earliest divergence and being distinct from the remaining taxa; i.e. the Porphyridiales 1-3, Bangiales, Florideophyceae, and Compsopogonales. We also analyzed data sets with fewer taxa but using seven proteins or the DNA sequence from nine genes to resolve inter-clade relationships. Based on all of these analyses, we propose that the Rhodophyta contains two new subphyla, the Cyanidiophytina with a single class, the Cyanidiophyceae, and the Rhodophytina with six classes, the Bangiophyceae, Compsopogonophyceae, Florideophyceae, Porphyridiophyceae classis nov. (which contains Porphyridium, Flintiella, and Erythrolobus), Rhodellophyceae, and Stylonematophyceae classis nov. (which contains Stylonema, Bangiopsis, Chroodactylon, Chroothece, Purpureofilum, Rhodosorus, Rhodospora, and Rufusia). We also describe a new order, Rhodellales, and a new family, Rhodellaceae (with Rhodella, Dixoniella, and Glaucosphaera).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-492
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


  • Bangiophyceae
  • Compsopogonophyceae
  • Cyanidiophyceae
  • Florideophyceae
  • Porphyridiophycae
  • Red algal lineages
  • Rhodellophyceae
  • Rhodophyta
  • Stylonematophyceae


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