Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 3425–3434 | Cite as

DNA barcoding reveals cryptic diversity of economic red algae, Pyropia (Bangiales, Rhodophyta): description of novel species from Korea

  • Young Ho Koh
  • Myung Sook KimEmail author
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum


Red algal genus Pyropia that includes several commercially important species is distributed in wide regions of the world from cold temperate to tropical marine environments. Despite their practical utility, species of this genus are difficult to identify using solely morphological features because they lack reliable diagnostic characteristics. DNA barcoding using mitochondrial COI-5P marker is now well established for red algae. We explored the species diversity of the genus Pyropia in Korea based on the molecular analyses and morphological observations, and confirmed seven species including two new ones, Py. kuniedae, Py. retorta, Py. seriata, Py. tenera, Py. yezoensis, Pyropia submarina sp. nov., and Pyropia vittata sp. nov. In the DNA barcode analysis, Korean Pyropia species were clearly distinguished from other Pyropia species by 2.6 to 17.1% sequence divergences. We also uncovered cryptic species diversity in areas that are remote or not easily approachable such as Ulleung Island in the middle of east sea far from mainland or underwater habitat deeper than 10 m of Udo, Jeju. This study is verifying the probability of more biodiversity from pristine environments and providing the information that DNA barcoding is an efficient way to identify species of Pyropia, the bladed genus of the order Bangiales in Korea.


Bangiales Cryptic diversity DNA barcoding Molecular phylogeny Pyropia 



We thank all members of the Molecular Phylogeny of Marine Algae Laboratory at Jeju National University.

Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR), funded by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of the Republic of Korea (NIBR201722202 for the Graduate Program of the Undiscovered Taxa from Korea, and NIBR201701204 for collecting samples), and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2017R1A2B4009420) of the Republic of Korea.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyJeju National UniversityJejuSouth Korea

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