Maullinia braseltonii sp. nov. (Rhizaria, Phytomyxea, Phagomyxida): A Cyst-forming Parasite of the Bull Kelp Durvillaea spp. (Stramenopila, Phaeophyceae, Fucales)

Pedro Murua, Franz Goecke , Renato Westermeier, Pieter Van West, Frithjof C Kuepper, Sigrid Neuhauser * (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Phytomyxea are obligate endoparasites of angiosperm plants and Stramenopiles characterised by a complex life cycle. Here Maullinia braseltonii sp. nov., an obligate parasite infecting the bull kelp Durvillaea (Phaeophyceae, Fucales) from the South-Eastern Pacific (Central Chile and Chiloe Island) and South-Western Atlantic (Falkland Islands, UK) is described. M. braseltonii causes distinct hypertrophies (galls) on the host thalli making it easily identifiable in the field.
Sequence comparisons based on the partial 18S and the partial 18S-5.8S-28S regions confirmed its placement within the order Phagomyxida (Phytomyxea, Rhizaria), as a sister species of the marine parasite Maullinia ectocarpii, which is also a parasite of brown algae. The development of resting spores in M. braseltonii is described by light and electron microscopy and confirmed by FISH experiments, which visually showed the differential expression of the 28S non-coding gene, strongly in early plasmodia and weakly in late cysts. M. braseltonii is, so far, the only phytomyxean parasite of brown algae for which the formation of resting spores has been reported, and which is widely distributed in
Durvillaea stocks from the Southeastern Pacific and Southwestern Atlantic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-480
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Help in biomass collection by David J. Patiño (UACh), Liliana A. Muñoz (University of Aberdeen (UoA)) and Alexandra Mystikou (South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute & UoA), and in conducting electron microscopy by Gillian Milne (Aberdeen Microscopy Facility) is acknowledged. Thanks are due to the three anonymous reviewers, whose comments helped to improve the earlier version of this manuscript. PM was funded by Conicyt (BecasChile N° 72130422) for PhD studies at the University of Aberdeen, and by the NERC IOF Pump-priming (scheme NE/L013223/1) for activities at the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences. RW thanks financial support from Gobierno Regional de Los Lagos (projects FIC 2012 E7259-2 and FIC 2013 BIP30234872-0) and Fondef, Conicyt (HUAM AQ12I0010), which allows the sampling expeditions at Chiloe Island by David J. Patiño, Liliana Muñoz and PM. SN was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): grant J3175-B20 (Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship) and grant Y801-B16 (START-grant). PvW is supported by the UoA, BBSRC and NERC. Also, the MASTS pooling initiative (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland, funded by the Scottish Funding Council and contributing institutions; grant reference HR09011) is gratefully acknowledged for its support to FCK. Finally, we would like to thank the UoA, Shackleton Fund (FCK) and the John Cheek Fund (FCK) for supporting the expeditions of Alexandra Mystikou, PvW and FCK to the Falkland Islands.


  • plasmodiophorids
  • brown algae
  • galls
  • rDNA
  • resting spores


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