Description of four new filamentous cyanobacterial taxa from freshwater habitats in the Azores Archipelago.

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Journal of Phycology


Simple filamentous cyanobacteria comprise a diverse and polyphyletic group of species, primarily in the orders Leptolyngbyales and Oscillatoriales, that need more sampling to improve their taxonomy. Oceanic islands, such as the Azores archipelago, present unique habitats and biogeographic conditions that harbor an unknown range of diversity of microorganisms. Filamentous cyanobacteria isolated from aquatic habitats in the Azores and maintained in the BACA culture collection were described using morphology, both light and transmission electron microscopy, ecology, and genetic data of the 16S rRNA gene sequences and 16S–23S Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) rRNA region secondary structure. Our analyses revealed two new monophyletic genera: Tumidithrix elongata gen. sp. nov. (Pseudanabaenaceae) and Radiculonema aquaticum gen. sp. nov. (Leptolyngbyaceae). In addition, two new species Leptodesmis lacustris sp. nov. (Leptolyngbyaceae) and Pycnacronema la-custrum sp. nov. (Wilmottiaceae) are reported as the first aquatic species for these genera. The description of these new taxa and the genetic study of an isolate of Leptodesmis alaskaensis from the Azores followed the polyphasic approach, identifying diacritical features. Our results reinforce the need for taxonomic studies on cyanobacteria from less-studied habits and geographic regions, which have a potential for new taxa description.