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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus ACINETOSPORA Bornet 1891: 370

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Ectocarpales

Thallus filamentous, uniseriate, much branched and forming a tangled, diffuse mass adhering to other algae by means of slightly curved lateral branchlets, filaments with rounded end cells or tapering slightly into false hairs; branches usually arising from the middle of the parent cell. Growth diffuse but with defined meristematic regions at the base of lateral branchlets. Cells with numerous discoid phaeoplasts each with a pyrenoid, and physodes.

Reproduction: Reproduction by (a) plurilocular sporangia with large locules, (b) plurilocular organs ("antheridia") with numerous small locules, (c) unilocular sporangia giving rise to numerous zoospores, and (d) monosporangia, which liberate the whole contents as a non motile spore.

Type species: A. pusilla (Griffiths & Harvey) De Toni [ = A. crinita (Carmichael) Kornmann].

Taxonomic notes: A genus of two (?) species (A. crinita and A. nicholsoniae Hollenberg 1971, p. 12) of uncertain life history and relationships. The function of the reproductive organs, all of which occur in Australian material, is not clear, especially that of the so-called "antheridia". The above reproductive structures, together with the presence of slightly curved branchlets ("crampons") which assist in entangling the branches to form a diffuse thallus, characterise the genus; a further feature is that the branches and reproductive organs commonly are attached about the middle of the parent cell, rather than at the upper end.

Acinetospora crinita is considered by Kornmann (1953) and Knoepfller-Péguy (1974, 1977) to be a stage in the life history of Feldmannia (F. lebelii or other species).


BORNET, E. (1891). Note sur quelques Ectocarpus. Bull. Soc. Bot. Fr. 38, 353–372.

HOLLENBERG, G.J. (1971). Phycological notes. V. New species of marine algae from California. Phycologia 10, 11–16.

KORNMANN, P. (1953). Der Formenkreis von Acinetospora crinita (Carm.) nov. comb. Helgol. wiss. Meeresunters. 4, 205–224.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part II complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (14 December, 1987)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Part II
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