Recent advances in the phylogeny and taxonomy of Laminariales, with special reference to the newly discovered basal member Aureophycus
Laminarialean species are the largest photosynthetic organisms in aquatic environments and constitute a significant ecological element of coastal ecosystems in temperate and colder seas. Laminariales has been believed to be clearly delimited in the ordinal taxonomic rank by the morphology and life history patterns, however, their phylogeny and taxonomy has been considerably revised in the past two to three decades largely based on fine structure as revealed by transmission electron microscopy, life history studies employing unialgal cultures, and molecular phylogenetic analyses using diverse genetic markers. The families Akkesiphycaceae and Pseudochordaceae were described as basic members, whereas Phyllariaceae and Halosiphon were transferred to Tilopteridales. In the derived members, familial taxonomy was considerably revised by the molecular studies, and the finding of Aureophycus.