In the present study, three new strains of the rare volvocalean green alga Lobomonas were isolated from field-collected samples, one from Sardinia (Italy) and two from Argentina, and comparatively studied. The Sardinian and one of the Argentinian strains were identified as Lobomonas francei, the type species of the genus, whereas the second Argentinian strain corresponded to L. panduriformis. Two additional nominal species of Lobomonas from culture collections (L. rostrata and L. sphaerica) were included in the analysis and shown to be morphologically and molecularly identical to the L. francei strains. The presence, number, and shapes of cell wall lobes, the diagnostic criterion of Lobomonas, were shown to be highly variable depending on the chemical composition of the culture medium used. The analyses by SEM gave evidence that the cell wall lobes in Lobomonas originate at the junctions of adjacent cell wall plates by extrusion of gelatinous material. The four L. francei strains had identical nrRNA gene sequences and differed by only one or two substitutions in the ITS1 + ITS2 sequences. In the phylogenetic analyses, L. francei and L. panduriformis were sister taxa; however, another nominal Lobomonas species (L. monstruosa) did not belong to this genus. Lobomonas, together with taxa designated as Vitreochlamys, Tetraspora, and Paulschulzia, formed a monophyletic group that in the combined analyses was sister to the "Chlamydomonas/Volvox-clade." Based on these results, Lobomonas was revised, the diagnosis of the type species emended, a lectotype and an epitype designated, and several taxa synonymized with the type species.
Keywords: L. panduriformis; CW-Clade; ITS2; Reinhardtinia; SSU nrRNA; crystalline glycoprotein lattice; rbcL; scanning electron microscopy.
© 2017 Phycological Society of America.