Sphaerococcus Stackhouse, 1797
Lectotype species: Sphaerococcus coronopifolius Stackhouse
Original publication: Stackhouse, J. (1797). Nereis britannica; continens species omnes fucorum in insulis britannicis crescentium: descriptione latine et anglico, necnon iconibus ad vivum depictis... Fasc. 2. pp. ix-xxiv, 31-70, pls IX-XIII. Bathoniae [Bath] & Londini [London]: S. Hazard; J. White.
Type designated in: Greville, R.K. (1830). Algae britannicae, or descriptions of the marine and other inarticulated plants of the British islands, belonging to the order Algae; with plates illustrative of the genera. pp. [i]-lxxxviii, -218, pl. 1-19. Edinburgh & London: McLachlan & Stewart; Baldwin & Cradock.
Description: Plants reach 150 mm in length, are erect from a large discoid base, and consist of irregularly to secondly branched flattened axes. Gameotphytes are monoecious. The crustose ctetrasporophyte is characterized by intercellular oil droplets and chains of large cells among the horizontal filaments (Maggs and Guiry 1982). Plants of the family SPHAEROCOCCACEAE are uniaxial, each axial cell cutting off 4 periaxial cells bearing cortical fascicles. Procarps form near tips of lateral branches on one of the two lateral pericentral cells, the carpogonial branch consisting of 4 cells borne on an intercalary supporting cell. Although the auxiliary cell is easily identifiable by its staining properties, its position is difficult to interpret (Searles 1968: 7). It appears to be the basal cell of the carpogonial branch, as it bears no other lateral structures, a position unique in the red algae. Early postfertilization stages are not clearly known. The mature cystocarp consists of a large central fusion cell and radiating gonimoblast filaments, each of which terminates in a single or 2-celled chain of carposporangia. Spermatangia are borne in clusters on elongated outer cortical mother cells formed in surface depressions. Tetrasporophytes are heteromorphic with gametophytes, being in the form of Haematocelis fissurata-type crusts bearing zonate sporangia among sterile erect filaments (Maggs and Guiry, 1982). The family once contained a large number of genera, but is now considered to be monogeneric. Searles (1968) has made the most recent anatomical and taxonomic study of the gametophytes.
Information contributed by: G.T. Kraft. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 2017-01-23 by M.D. Guiry.
Taxonomic status: This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.
Gender: This genus name is currently treated as masculine.
Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Schneider, C.W. & Wynne, M.J. (2007). A synoptic review of the classification of red algal genera a half a century after Kylin's "Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen". Botanica Marina 50: 197-249.
Comments: Distribution: The type species occurs in the eastern Atlantic from the British Isles to the Canary Islands, and in the Mediterranean and Black Seas (Dixon and Irvine 1977). In Britain it occurs on sublittoral rocks to 15 m depths. The Haematocelis fissurata stage is known from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of France, Ireland and Scotland, where it occurs on bedrock and boulders from 3-24 m depth. A second species, S. rhizophvlloides Rodriguez, is infrequently collected from the Baleares Islands, Atlantic France and the western Mediterranean, sometimes at considerable depths (up to 110 m; Huve 1970).
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Some of the descriptions included in AlgaeBase were originally from the unpublished Encyclopedia of Algal Genera, organised in the 1990s by Dr Bruce Parker on behalf of the Phycological Society of America (PSA) and intended to be published in CD format. These AlgaeBase descriptions are now being continually updated, and each current contributor is identified above. The PSA and AlgaeBase warmly acknowledge the generosity of all past and present contributors and particularly the work of Dr Parker.
Descriptions of chrysophyte genera were subsequently published in J. Kristiansen & H.R. Preisig (eds.). 2001. Encyclopedia of Chrysophyte Genera. Bibliotheca Phycologica 110: 1-260.
Linking to this page: https://www.algaebase.org/search/genus/detail/?genus_id=108
Cite this record as:
M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 23 January 2017. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. https://www.algaebase.org; searched on 31 May 2023