The filamentous red algal genus Gayliella, typified by G. flaccida, was segregated from Ceramium for a group of epiphytic species on the basis of morphological data and molecular phylogenetic analyses. However, while the genus was well investigated in some geographical areas, the treatment of the Brazilian taxa "Ceramium flaccidum" and "C. dawsonii" was incomplete and they were not transferred to Gayliella due to the problematic status of the specific epithets. Brazilian "C. flaccidum" did not fit within the circumscription of Gayliella flaccida; Brazilian "C. dawsonii" was positioned in three distinct lineages, none of which corresponded to known Gayliella species. Since the establishment of Gayliella, there has been no re-evaluation of Brazilian species, so this study revises the genus in Brazil using molecular and morphological data. Brazilian "C. flaccidum", "C. dawsonii", and other Brazilian collections were investigated by an integrative approach using phylogenetic analysis, genetic divergence, two species delimitation methods using three molecular markers (rbcL, cox1, and partial LSU), and comparative morphological and quantitative analyses. This molecular-assisted alpha taxonomy (MAAT) analysis placed Brazilian samples in five distinct well-supported lineages. For these, we propose a new combination, Gayliella dawsonii comb. nov. (lineage 2), based on analysis of type specimens and molecular data obtained from specimens collected near the type locality, and four new species: Gayliella ardissonei sp. nov. ("Ceramium flaccidum" from Brazil), G. iemanja sp. nov. ("C. dawsonii" lineage 3), G. tamoiensis sp. nov., and G. jolyana sp. nov. ("C. dawsonii" lineage 1).
Keywords: LSU; Ceramieae; cox1; molecular; morphology; rbcL; species delimitation.
© 2019 Phycological Society of America.