Species of Volvox sect. Volvox (Volvocaceae, Chlorophyceae) are unique because they have thick cytoplasmic bridges between somatic cells and spiny-walled zygotes. This section is taxonomically important because the genus Volvox is polyphyletic. However, taxonomic studies of species in Volvox sect. Volvox have not been carried out on cultured material. Here, we performed a taxonomic study of monoecious species of Volvox sect. Volvox based on the comparative morphology and molecular phylogeny of chloroplast genes and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of nuclear rDNA using various strains originating from Japan and two preserved strains from the USA. The strains were clearly divided into four species, V. globator L., V. barberi W. Shaw, V. kirkiorum sp. nov., and V. ferrisii sp. nov., on the basis of differences in numbers of zygotes (eggs) in the sexual spheroids, form of zygote wall, and somatic cell shape. Sequences for ITS of nuclear rDNA resolved that the two new species have phylogenetic positions separated from V. globator, V. barberi, V. capensis F. Rich et Pocock, and V. rousseletii G. S. West UTEX 1862 within Volvox sect. Volvox.
Keywords: Chlorophyceae; Volvocaceae; Volvox ferrisii sp. nov.; Volvox kirkiorum sp. nov.; Volvox sect. Volvox; cultures; molecular phylogeny; morphology; taxonomy.
© 2012 Phycological Society of America.