University of Puerto Rico X
Industrial Biotechnology & Biology
Mentor: Anita Klein, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Brian Teasdale, Graduate Assistant
The use of the rbcL gene and RUBISCO spacer to help resolve the morphological variation within Porphyra leucosticta (Bangiales, Rhodophyta)
Porphyra (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) is a blade-forming, none motile red algae that grows primarily on rocky, temperate shores around the world. These algae play an important commercial role because they are a major source of food for humans throughout the world. Porphyra leucosticta Thuret in Le Jolis, a species within this genus, has shown large variation in its morphology, ecology and enzymatic profile. This research project focuses on the genetic analysis of seven individuals previously classified as Porphyra leucosticta. The samples were collected from the Northeast Atlantic coast. Molecular techniques such as Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) and DNA sequence analysis of the rbcL gene and the RUBISCO spacer were used to help resolve the morphological variation within members of this species and discern possible taxonomic trends. Of the seven individuals under study, preliminary results demonstrated that three of them are genetically convergent with the genetic pattern of Porphyra leucosticta, two other samples differ from this pattern and the two remaining samples are still under investigation.