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Genus MASTOPHORA Decaisne 1842a: 365

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Corallinales – Family Corallinaceae – Subfamily Mastophoroideae

Thallus encrusting to layered, foliose or ribbon like, epigenous and partially or completely affixed by cell adhesion or rhizoids, or growing unattached and free living; genicula absent. Structure pseudoparenchymatous with dorsiventral organisation throughout; construction dimerous, consisting of two distinct groups of filaments/cells: a unistratose ventral layer in which each filament is composed of palisade cells, and secondly epithallial cells or occasionally filaments 2–3 (–5) cells long terminating in epithallial cells arising dorsally and more or less perpendicularly from cells of the unistratose palisade layer; cell elongation characteristics uncertain; cells of adjacent filaments joined by cell-fusions, secondary pit-connections absent; epithallial cells with distal walls rounded or flattened but not flared; haustoria unknown; trichocytes sometimes present, occurring singly or in horizontal rows or fields and occasionally dividing transversely or obliquely to form two cells.

Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction by thallus fragmentation. Gametangia, carposporangia and tetrasporangia borne in uniporate conceptacles, gametangia and carposporangia formed on separate thalli from tetrasporangia, conceptacles borne only on dorsal surfaces. Bisporangia unknown.

Gametangial thalli apparently dioecious. Carpogonia terminating 2- or 3-celled filaments arising from the female conceptacle chamber floor. Carposporophytes arising within female conceptacles after karyogamy, composed of a conspicuous central fusion cell and several-celled gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia. Spermatangial filaments unbranched, produced on the floor of male conceptacle chambers.

Tetrasporangia formed peripheral to a central columella, roofs formed only by filaments peripheral to sporangial initials, each mature sporangium lacking an apical plug and containing four zonately arranged tetraspores.

Type species: M. licheniformis Decaisne 1842a: 359,365.

Taxonomic notes: At least 35 species and infraspecific taxa have been ascribed to Mastophora (Woelkerling 1988, p. 133). Setchell (1943), however, included only three species in a review of the genus. Species concepts require clarification in a modern context, and thus the number of true species is presently uncertain. Details relating to generic etymology, nomenclature, synonymy infrageneric classification, etc. are provided by Woelkerling (1988, pp. 129–133). The type species, M. licheniformis, a heterotypic synonym of M. rosea (C. Agardh) Setchell, has been studied by Turner & Woelkerling (1982a, 1982b). Mastophora is represented in southern Australia by one species, M. pacifica (Heydrich) Foslie, the most recent study of which was undertaken by Verheij (1993b, 1994).


DECAISNE, J. (1842a). Essais sur une classification des Algues et des Polypiers calcifères de Lamouroux. Ann. Sci. Nat., 2 Sér. Bot., 17, 297–380, Plates 14–17.

SETCHELL, W.A. (1943). Mastophora and the Mastophoreae: Genus and subfamily of Corallinaceae. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. Washington 29, 127–135.

TURNER, J.A. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1982a). Studies on the Mastophora — Lithoporella complex (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). I. Meristems and thallus structure and development. Phycologia 21, 201–217.

TURNER, J.A. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1982b). Studies on the Mastophora — Lithoporella complex (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). II. Reproduction and generic concepts. Phycologia 21, 218–235.

VERHEIJ, E. (1993b). Marine Plants on the reefs of the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia: Aspects of Taxonomy, Floristics, and Ecology. (Rijksherbarium/Hortus Botanicus: Leiden.)

VERHEIJ, E. (1994). Nongeniculate Corallinaceae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) from the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia. Blumea 38, 95–137.

WOELKERLING, Wm.J. (1988). The Coralline Red Algae. [British Museum (N.H.): London.]

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

Author: W.J. Woelkerling (with some genera by D.L. Penrose)

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (28 June, 1996)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIB. Gracilarialse, Rhodymeniales, Corallinales and Bonnemaisoniales
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB 1996, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

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