Timing of the evolutionary history of Corallinaceae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta)

J Phycol. 2017 Jun;53(3):567-576. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12520. Epub 2017 Mar 31.


The temporal dimension of the most recent Corallinaceae (order Corallinales) phylogeny was presented here, based on first occurrence time estimates from the fossil record. Calibration of the molecular clock of the genetic marker SSU entailed a separation of Corallinales from Hapalidiales in the Albian (Early Cretaceous ~105 mya). Neither the calibration nor the fossil record resolved the succession of appearance of the first three emerging subfamilies: Mastophoroideae, Corallinoideae, and Neogoniolithoideae. The development of the tetra/bisporangial conceptacle roofs by filaments surrounding and interspersed among the sporangial initials was an evolutionary novelty emerging at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (~66 mya). This novelty was shared by the subfamilies Hydrolithoideae, Metagoniolithoideae, and Lithophylloideae, which diverged in the early Paleogene. Subclades within the Metagoniolithoideae and Lithophylloideae diversified in the late Oligocene-middle Miocene (~28-12 mya). The most common reef corallinaceans (Hydrolithon, Porolithon, Harveylithon, "Pneophyllum" conicum, and subclades within Lithophylloideae) appeared in this interval in the Indo-Australian Archipelago.

Keywords: Corallinaceae; SSU marker; calibrated phylogenetic tree; fossil record; paleobiogeography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algal Proteins / genetics
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fossils
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Algal / genetics
  • Rhodophyta / classification
  • Rhodophyta / genetics*


  • Algal Proteins
  • RNA, Algal