Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Phylogeography of the freshwater raphidophyte Gonyostomum semen confirms a recent expansion in northern Europe by a single haplotype

  • Karen Lebret
  • Sylvie Tesson
  • Emma Kritzberg
  • Carmelo Tomas
  • Karin Rengefors
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 768-781
Publication/Series: Journal of Phycology
Volume: 51
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Gonyostmum semen is a freshwater raphidophyte that has increased in occurrence and abundance in several countries in northern Europe since the 1980s. More recently, the species has expanded rapidly also in north-eastern Europe, and it is frequently referred to as invasive. To better understand the species history, we have explored the phylogeography of G. semen using strains from northern Europe, United States, and Japan. Three regions of the ribosomal RNA gene (small subunit [SSU], internal transcribed spacer [ITS] and large subunit [LSU]) and one mitochondrial DNA marker (cox1) were analyzed. The SSU and partial LSU sequences were identical in all strains, confirming that they belong to the same species. The ITS region differentiated the American from the other strains, but showed high intra-strain variability. In contrast, the mitochondrial marker cox1 showed distinct differences between the European, American, and Japanese strains. Interestingly, only one cox1 haplotype was detected in European strains. The overall low diversity and weak geographic structure within northern European strains supported the hypothesis of a recent invasion of new lakes by G. semen. Our data also show that the invasive northern European lineage is genetically distinct from the lineages from the other continents. Finally, we concluded that the mitochondrial cox1 was the most useful marker in determining large-scale biogeographic patterns in this species.


  • Ecology
  • raphidophyte SSU
  • phylogeography
  • LSU
  • ITS
  • Gonyostomum semen
  • cox1


  • Centre for Animal Movement Research
  • ISSN: 0022-3646
Emma Kritzberg
E-mail: emma [dot] kritzberg [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 40 79



Research group

Aquatic Ecology


Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

PhD students, assistant supervisor

Post docs

Johanna Sjöstedt