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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 104:1-11 (2013)  -  DOI:

Intracellular eukaryotic pathogens in brown macroalgae in the Eastern Mediterranean, including LSU rRNA data for the oomycete Eurychasma dicksonii 

Martina Strittmatter1,2,6, Claire M. M. Gachon1, Dieter G. Müller3, Julia Kleinteich3, Svenja Heesch1,7, Amerssa Tsirigoti4, Christos Katsaros4, Maria Kostopoulou2, Frithjof C. Küpper1,5,*

1Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
2University of the Aegean, Department of Marine Sciences, University Hill, 81 100 Mytilene, Greece
3Universität Konstanz, FB Biologie, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
4University of Athens, Faculty of Biology, Athens 157 84, Greece
5Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen, Main Street, Newburgh AB41 6AA, UK
6Present address: CNRS and UPMC University Paris 06, The Marine Plants and Biomolecules Laboratory, UMR 7139, Station Biologique de Roscoff, Place Georges Teissier, CS 90074, 29688 Roscoff Cedex, France
7Present address: Irish Seaweed Research Group, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: For the Mediterranean Sea, and indeed most of the world’s oceans, the biodiversity and biogeography of eukaryotic pathogens infecting marine macroalgae remains poorly known, yet their ecological impact is probably significant. Based on 2 sampling campaigns on the Greek island of Lesvos in 2009 and 1 in northern Greece in 2012, this study provides first records of 3 intracellular eukaryotic pathogens infecting filamentous brown algae at these locations: Eurychasma dicksonii, Anisolpidium sphacellarum, and A. ectocarpii. Field and microscopic observations of the 3 pathogens are complemented by the first E. dicksonii large subunit ribosomal RNA (LSU rRNA) gene sequence analyses of isolates from Lesvos and other parts of the world. The latter highlights the monophyly of E. dicksonii worldwide and confirms the basal position of this pathogen within the oomycete lineage (Peronosporomycotina). The results of this study strongly support the notion that the geographic distribution of the relatively few eukaryotic seaweed pathogens is probably much larger than previously thought and that many of the world’s marine bioregions remain seriously undersampled and understudied in this respect.

KEY WORDS: Brown algae · Pathogens · Oomycetes · Hyphochytrids · Infection · Eastern Mediterranean Sea · Phylogeny · LSU rRNA · SSU rRNA · cox2

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Cite this article as: Strittmatter M, Gachon CMM, Müller DG, Kleinteich J and others (2013) Intracellular eukaryotic pathogens in brown macroalgae in the Eastern Mediterranean, including LSU rRNA data for the oomycete Eurychasma dicksonii . Dis Aquat Org 104:1-11.

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