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Genus METAMASTOPHORA Setchell 1943: 130

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

Thallus arborescent, composed of a basal holdfast and erect stipes bearing flattened, branched, flexible ribbon like branches; genicula absent. Structure pseudoparenchymatous with dorsiventral organisation throughout; construction dimerous, consisting of two distinct groups of filaments: a unistratose layer that is ventral in younger portions but becomes internal in older portions and in which each filament is composed of palisade cells, and secondly epithallial cells or filaments terminating in epithallial cells arising dorsally (and in older portions also ventrally) 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 very occasional in older part of thallus; epithallial cells with distal walls rounded or flattened but not flared; haustoria unknown; trichocytes uncommon, occurring singly or in horizontal rows or fields.

Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction unknown. Gametangia, carposporangia and tetrasporangia borne in uniporate conceptacles; gametangia and carposporangia formed on separate thalli from tetrasporangia; conceptacles borne only on dorsal surface of branches. Bisporangia unknown.

Gametangial thalli dioecious or rarely monoecious. 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. flabellata (Sonder) Setchell 1943: 132. Basionym: Melobesia flabellata Sonder 1845: 55.

Taxonomic notes: Five species were ascribed to Metamastophora by Setchell (1943); Woelkerling (1978) transferred one to Mastophoropsis and then (Woelkerling 1980b) reduced the remaining four to a single species. Details relating to generic etymology, nomenclature, synonymy, etc. are provided by Woelkerling (1988, pp. 133–139). The following species account constitutes an update of Woelkerling (1980a, 1980b).


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

SONDER, O.G. (1845). Nova Algarum genera et species, quas in itinere ad oras occidentales Novae Hollandiae, collegit L. Preiss, Ph.Dr. Bot. Zeit. 3, 49–57.

WOELKERLING, W.J. (1978). Mastophoropsis canaliculata (Harvey in Hooker) gen. et comb. nov. (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) in southern Australia. Br. phycol. J. 13, 209–225.

WOELKERLING, W.J. (1980a). Studies on Metamastophora (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). I. M. flabellata (Sonder) Setchell: morphology and anatomy. Br. phycol. J. 15, 201–225.

WOELKERLING, W.J. (1980b). Studies on Metamastophora (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). II. Systematics and Distribution. Br. phycol. J. 15, 227–245.

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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