Two New Kremastochrysopsis species, K. austriaca sp. nov. and K. americana sp. nov. (Chrysophyceae) 1

Daniel Remias, Lenka Procházková, Linda Nedbalová, Robert A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Melting summer snow in the Austrian Alps exhibited a yellowish bloom that was mainly comprised of an unidentified unicellular chrysophyte. Molecular data (18S rRNA and rbcL genes) showed a close relationship to published sequences from an American pond alga formerly identified as Kremastochrysis sp. The genera Kremastochrysis and Kremastochrysopsis are morphologically distinguished by the number of flagella observed with the light microscope, and therefore we assigned the Austrian snow alga and an American pond alga to the genus Kremastochrysopsis. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy revealed that swimming cells had two flagella oriented in opposite directions, typical for the Hibberdiales. Molecular phylogenetic analyses showed that both new species were closely related to Hibberdia. Kremastochrysopsis ocellata, the type species and only known species, has two chloroplasts per cell and the zoospores have red eyespots. Our two organisms had only a single chloroplast and no zoospore eyespot, but their gene sequences differed substantially. Therefore, we described two new species, Kremastochrysopsis austriaca sp. nov and Kremstochrysopsis americana sp. nov. When grown in culture, both taxa showed a characteristic hyponeustonic growth (hanging below the water surface), whereas older immotile cells grew at the bottom of the culture vessel. Ecologically, Kremastochrysopsis austriaca sp. nov., which caused snow discolorations, had no close phylogenetic relationships to other psychrophilic chrysophytes, for example, Chromulina chionophilia, Hydrurus sp., and Ochromonas-like flagellates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Chromophyton
  • Kremastochrysis
  • psychrophilic
  • snow algae
  • substitutional saturation
  • Austria
  • Chloroplasts
  • Phylogeny
  • Chrysophyta
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 18S


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