Seaweed biodiversity in the North Adriatic Sea through DNA Barcoding

Isabella Moro, Katia Sciuto e Marion Adelheid Wolf

Laboratory web site

In the last years, the global warming and the accidental or voluntary human transport of macroalgae, through the commercial and tourist naval traffics, have greatly caused the diffusion of non-indigenous species in many coastal and transition Mediterranean areas, with the development of large blooms.

The North Adriatic, in particular lagoon environments, are subject to these new introductions. These considerations highlight the importance of cataloguing the macroalgal biodiversity of these environments to assist in its conservation and utilization.

Our research group is carrying out surveys on the algal biodiversity in the North Adriatic, in particular in lagoons, through a molecular approach. Because of cryptic morphology of some entities, sometimes to understand if a new reported alien taxon is the result of a recent introduction or was already present in the environment, but erroneously classified, we compare the molecular sequences of our specimens with those, when available, obtained from old historical material.


Maggs Christine A. - Bournemouth University, Bournemouth (UK)

Sfriso Adriano – Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia

Rindi Fabio – Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona

Falace Annalisa – Dipartimento di Scienze della vita, Università di Trieste

Database: Barcoding P.A.T.H.S.

Selected publications

Wolf M.A., Maneveldt G.W., Kaleb S., Moro I., Falace A., 2015. Morphological and molecular characterization of Hydrolithon rupestre (Corallinaceae, Corallinales, Rhodophyta): first report from the Mediterranean Sea. Phytotaxa 224 (1): 59–71.

Wolf M. A., Sfriso A., Moro I., 2014. Thermal pollution and settlement of new tropical alien species: the case of Grateloupia yinggehaiensis (Rhodophyta) in the Venice Lagoon. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 147: 11-16.

Sfriso A., Wolf M.A., Sciuto K., Morabito M., Andreoli C., Moro I., 2013. Gracilaria viridis sp. nov. (Rhodophyta, Gracilariales): a new red algal species for the Mediterranean Sea. Phycologia 52: 65-73.

Wolf M.A., Sciuto K., Andreoli C., Moro I., 2012. Ulva (Chlorophyta, Ulvales) biodiversity in the North Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean, Italy): cryptic species and new introductions. Journal of Phycology 48: 1510-1521.

Wolf M.A., Sfriso A., Andreoli C., Moro I., 2011. The presence of exotic Hypnea flexicaulis (Rhodophyta) in the Mediterranean Sea as indicated by morphology, rbcL and cox1 analyses. Aquatic Botany 95: 55-58.