Novel lineage of a green alga and Acremonium stroudii (Ascomycota) sp. nov. reported from Ascension Island

K. I. G. Fletcher, J. Sim, N. Williams, N. Weber, F. C. Kuepper, P. Van West

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental specimens lining seawater blowholes of Whale Point, Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean were collected (August 2012) and investigated by morphological and molecular techniques. Reported here, Acremonium stroudii (Ascomycota) sp. nov., a filamentous conidia-forming fungus, was the only fungus isolated from the samples collected. Molecular analysis of the material also indicates the presence of a novel species of green algae being present, however, isolation of this alga has not been possible. Instead it appears that this specimen, which belongs to a novel lineage within the Ulvales, sister to the Dilabifilum species, encourages fungal growth in culture and has been shown to form a symbiotic relationship on low nutrition agar plates, supported by investigation through electron microscopy. As no holotype of this species could be isolated in an axenic culture it was not suitable at this point to try to define this alga, especially as no established genus could be attributed. We recommend trying to further sample areas of Ascension Island looking for other members of this green algal lineage, both investigating free-living green algae and those which are found as lichenized photobionts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-679
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number4
Early online date21 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank Alan Orange, Holger Thus and Akira Peters for providing input on this study through personal communication on the topics of lichen biodiversity and identification. We are also grateful to Akira Peters and Holger Thu¨s for helpful discussions on isolation of algae, specifically establishing cultures from previously lichenized material. Additionally we thank the University of Aberdeen Microscopy and Histology Core Facility for providing specialist electron microscopy support for preparation and imaging of specimens. We are grateful to the Shallow Marine Surveys Group and the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute for organizing the expedition. We are also very grateful to the Ascension Island Government, the members of staff at the Conservation Centre and Ascension Island Dive Club for their cooperation, accommodation and hospitality. Finally we are grateful to British Forces South Atlantic Islands for their logistic support.

Financial Support
This work was supported by the National Environmental Research Council (K.I.G.F., P.v.W.), Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (F.C.K., grant number HR09011), the University of Aberdeen, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (P.v.W.) and the Darwin Initiative (grant number EIDCF012).


  • Pirula
  • environmental sample
  • ITS
  • phylogenetics
  • electron microscopy
  • Dilabifilum
  • lichen
  • symbiosis


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