Mesostigmatophyceae, a new class of streptophyte green algae revealed by SSU rRNA sequence comparisons

Protist. 1999 Dec;150(4):399-417. doi: 10.1016/S1434-4610(99)70041-6.


Complete nuclear-encoded SSU rRNA sequences have been obtained from three taxa of streptophyte green algae (Klebsormidium nitens, Nitella capillaris, Chaetosphaeridium globosum) and two strains of the scaly green flagellate Mesostigma viride. Phylogenetic analyses of 70 taxa of Viridiplantae (Chlorophyta and Streptophyta) and 57 taxa of streptophyte green algae and embryophyte plants using distance, parsimony and likelihood methods revealed a novel monophyletic lineage among the Streptophyta comprising the genera Mesostigma and Chaetosphaeridium. This lineage is described here as the Mesostigmatophyceae classis nova. Our analyses demonstrate that (1) scaly green flagellates (prasinophytes) are polyphyletic, (2) a scaly green flagellate is a member of the Streptophyta and forms a clade with the oogamous, filamentous Chaetosphaeridium to the exclusion of all other known streptophyte green algae, (3) a previously published SSU rRNA sequence of Chaetosphaeridium (AF113506) is chimeric and contains part of a fungal SSU rRNA, and (4) the phylogenetic relationships between the Mesostigmatophyceae and other streptophyte green algae remain unresolved by SSU rRNA sequence comparisons.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlorophyta / classification*
  • Chlorophyta / genetics
  • Chlorophyta / ultrastructure
  • Classification
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Phylogeny
  • Species Specificity
  • Terminology as Topic


  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Ribosomal