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Genus LOPHOCLADIA Schmitz 1893: 222

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Lophothalieae

Thallus erect, radially branched, lightly corticated below, upper branches clothed with slender, basally branched, rhodoplastic trichoblasts; adventitious monosiphonous filaments usually absent; attachment by rhizoids with multicellular discs. Structure monopodial, axial cells each with a trichoblast and developing 4 pericentral cells which remain clear in transverse section within the slight cortex. Cells multinucleate.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps borne on basal cells of trichoblasts. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and branched gonimoblast filaments bearing clavate terminal carposporangia. Cystocarps ovoid to urceolate, pericarp mostly 2 cells thick, corticated only basally. Spermatangial organs borne as a branch of a trichoblast, with sterile, monosiphonous pedicels and tips, without trichoblasts.

Tetrasporangial stichidia on basal cells of trichoblasts, with monosiphonous pedicels, without trichoblasts, slightly spirally twisted, with tetrasporangia one per segment in a spiral arrangement, with 3 elongate cover cells.

Type species: L. trichoclados (C. Agardh) Schmitz 1893: 223.

Taxonomic notes: Lophocladia is distinguished by its slender habit and slight cortication, 4 pericentral cells, and spermatangial organs and tetrasporangial stichidia without trichoblasts and with monosiphonous pedicels. Apart from the rhodoplastic, longer lasting, trichoblasts, Lophocladia is very similar structurally and reproductively to Polysiphonia, and sequencing studies of their relationships would be of interest.


SCHMITZ, F. (1893). Die gattung Lophothalia, J. Ag. Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Ges. 11, 212–232.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & M.J. Parsons

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 February, 2003)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIID. Ceramiales – Delesseriaceae, Sarcomeniaceae, Rhodomelaceae
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID 2003, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

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