Liagora japonica is a red algal species distributed in temperate regions of Japan. This species has not been collected from its type locality on the Pacific coast of Japan since 1927 and seems to have become extinct in this area. For molecular characterization of L. japonica, we extracted DNA from the topotype material of L. japonica collected in 1927, analyzed seven genes using Illumina next-generation sequencing, and compared these data with sequences from modern samples of similar red algae collected from the Japan Sea coast of Japan. Both morphological and molecular data from modern samples and historical specimens (including the lectotype and topotype) suggest that the specimens from the Pacific and Japan Sea coasts of Japan should be treated as a single species, and that L. japonica is phylogenetically separated from the genus Liagora. Based on the phylogenetic results and examination of reproductive structures, we propose Otohimella japonica gen. et comb. nov., characterized morphologically by diffuse carposporophytes, undivided carposporangia, and involucral filaments initiated only from the cortical cell on the supporting cell.
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