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Order Ceramiales

Family Ceramiaceae

Laurenciophila minima Stegenga 1986: 130, pl. 47

Plants semi-endophytic in various Laurencia spp., the basal cell strongly enlarged to ca. 300 X 200 µm, together with a second (much smaller) cell forming the endophytic base. The emergent part of the plant up to ca. 1 mm tall, filamentous, ecorticate, irregularly branched with one to three laterals per cell. Cells up to 40 µm in diameter, once to twice as long, apical cells 7-8 µm broad. The branches somewhat incurved.

Tetrasporangia in small clusters, developing on a single cell near the base of branches; sporangia almost spherical, ca. 45 µm in diameter at maximum. Male plants, according to earlier description (Stegenga et al. 1997) with male stands very small and of simple construction. Carposporophytes with a number of short but clear filaments of carpospores, individual spores measuring up to ca. 30 µm in diameter. The sexual reproduction of this small semi-endophyte has been described in more detail (Stegenga, 1988). Infection of the host apparently takes place right at the apex of the plant where spores enter through the gaps in the epidermis where trichoblasts emerge.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from False Bay to Port Alfred (17-39). Endophytic in Laurencia spp.

World distribution: South African endemic.

Type locality: Cape Infanta, Western Cape Province, South Africa (Stegenga 1986).


Laurenciophila minima. 1 Habit, showing large endophytic base cell. 2 Tetrasporangia. Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).

Laurenciophila minima. Habit, on Laurencia flexuosa. Tsitsikamma, stained slide.

Laurenciophila minima. Detail with tetrasporangia. Tsitsikamma, stained slide.

Laurenciophila minima. Large endophytic basal cell and emergent main axis. On Laurencia flexuosa, Tsitsikamma. Stained slide.


References Laurenciophila minima

Stegenga, H. 1986. The Ceramiaceae (excl. Ceramium) (Rhodophyta) of the South West Cape Province, South Africa. Bibliotheca Phycologica 74: 1-149, 1 table, 51 plates.

Stegenga, H., Bolton, J.J. & R. J. Anderson. 1997. Seaweeds of the South African west coast. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium 18: 655 pp.


Cite this record as:

Anderson RJ, Stegenga H, Bolton JJ. 2016. Seaweeds of the South African South Coast.
World Wide Web electronic publication, University of Cape Town,; Accessed on 26 February 2024.