Vaucheria Candolle, 1801

Lectotype species: Vaucheria disperma Candolle

Original publication: Candolle, A.P. de (1801). Extrait d'un rapport sur les conferves. Bulletin des Sciences par la Société Philomathique de Paris 3(51): 17-21, pl. I.

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Type designated in: Silva, P.C. (1952). A review of nomenclatural conservation in the algae from the point of view of the type method. University of California Publications in Botany 25: 241-323.

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Description: The only genus of its family, consisting of decumbent or cushion-like mats of interwoven, grass- to dark-green, sparingly-branched siphons 10-200 &m in diam., with indeterminate apical growth and lateral branching, sometimes with colorless rhizoidal siphons. Parietal cytoplasm contains many discoid chloroplasts (Å pyrenoid) and small nuclei, surrounding a central large vacuole. Nuclear envelope remains intact during mitosis, surrounding spindle apparatus. Freshwater species often infected by galls, producing large outgrowths from siphon. Asexual reproduction by terminal, clavate aplanosporangia; multinucleate zoosporangia with numerous pairs of only slightly unequal flagella; or thick-walled akinetes formed by septa in siphon. Sexual reproduction oogamous, the oogonia bearing single eggs and male gametangia producing several heterokontan sperm. Gametangia, also isolated by septa, are arranged in either regular bisexual groups or loose arrangements of one or more oogonia and/or male gametangia on monoecious or dioecious plants. Male gametangia usually tubular, 10-700 &m long, curved or straight, usually releasing sperm through one or more pores. Oogonium 30-400 &m in diam., initially multinucleate; uninucleate before fertilization (usually) through pore in oogonial wall. Germination of oospore (zygote) by means of dehiscence at predetermined location, presumably after meiosis. Vaucheria is widespread in fresh to saline water, every continent (including Antarctica); submergent, amphibious, semi-emergent or terrestrial; intertidal to sublittoral, on mudflats, mangroves, saltmarsh, estuaries, streams, channels, farmland, lake and pond fringes, and almost any wetland. Acts as stabilizer of exposed mud; able to tolerate aerial desiccation due to buried siphons which grow through deposited silt. Sometimes encrusted in calcium carbonate. Periodicity and distribution of saltmarsh species depends on salinity and soil-moisture. Physiological studies include role of light on branch formation, movement of chloroplasts, winding of mitochondrial filaments, response of vegetative growth and reproduction to salinity, and phototrophic control of vegetative growth and zoosporogenesis. Culture requirements have been extensively studied. Peroxisomes in marine and freshwater species with similar enzymic equipment to those of other Tribophyceae but distinct form all other algae. Sections distinguished mainly on disposition and morphology of male gametangia; species delineated using morphology of antheridia, oogonia and oospores, and arrangement of gametangia. Observed variation of these features in culture has led to some reduction in number of species. Pseudovaucheria spongeliae Lami is an endozoic, marine, siphonous alga whose taxonomic placement is uncertain, but is probably synonymous with Vaucheria.

Information contributed by: T. J. Entwisle. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 2021-10-07 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 feminine.

Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Kawai, H. & Nakayama, T. (2015). Introduction (Heterokontobionta p.p.), Cryptophyta, Dinophyta, Haptophyta, Heterokontophyta (except Coscinodiscophyceae, Mediophyceae, Fragilariophyceae, Bacillariophyceae, Phaeophyceae, Eustigmatophyceae), Chlorarachniophyta, Euglenophyta. In: Syllabus of plant families. Adolf Engler's Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien. Ed. 13. Phototrophic eukaryotic Algae. Glaucocystophyta, Cryptophyta, Dinophyta/Dinozoa, Haptophyta, Heterokontophyta/Ochrophyta, Chlorarachnniophyta/Cercozoa, Chlorophyta, Streptophyta p.p. (Frey, W. Eds), pp. 11-64, 103-139. Stuttgart: Borntraeger Science Publishers.

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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.

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M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 07 October 2021. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 19 June 2024

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