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Sexual Reproduction of the Antarctic Brown Alga Ascoseira mirabilis (Ascoseirales, Phaeophyceae)

Abstract Gametes of the antarctic brown alga Ascoseira mirabilis were studied at King George Island, South Shetland Islands. Mature field plants exuded gametangial masses through the ostioles of their conceptacles in a similar way to other conceptacle-bearing brown algae. Motile isogametes differ from the Ectocarpus-type by their flagellar activity-pattern and lack of eye-spots and phototaxis. Hormosirene, a low-molecular volatile hydrocarbon was obtained from gametes. Zygotes were formed without gamete attraction, and bio-assays showed no response of Ascoseira gametes to synthetic hormosirene. Introduction Ascoseira mirabilis Skottsberg is a large brown alga endemic to the Antarctic Peninsula and neighbouring Islands. Due to its unique morphological and repro* düctive characters it is treated as the only member of the monotypic order Ascoseirales, which has no evident close relationship to other Phaeophyceaen orders (Moe and Henry 1982). The nature of chain-like reproductive structures in the conceptacles of Ascoseira was unknown until Clayton (1987) established that they are gametangiä. She observed sexual fusions between isogametes. Thus, the life history of Ascoseira consists of a succession of diploid sporophytes. Immediately following meiosis aggregates of eight gametophytes are formed within the meiosporangiuin. Each gametophyte consists of a degenerated residual cell and one gamete. A similar http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Botanica Marina de Gruyter

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