Species characterization in the family Characeae is generally based on morphological characteristics. The dioecious charophyte green algal genus Chara L. comprises of several species, of which high levels of morphological resemblance were recorded in this study. Four Chara samples were collected from different habitats in Egypt and morphologically studied. SSR-PCR and ISSR-PCR based techniques were performed to differentiate and characterize genetic diversity in the collected species. Two SSR and eight ISSR primers were used. Genetic differentiation of two Chara species (Sp.1 and Sp.2) was assessed by analyzing two polymorphic microsatellite (SSR) loci previously identified and developed from C. canescens. Additionally, similarity matrix and cluster analysis revealed by ISSR markers suggested separation of three Chara species (Sp.1, Sp.2, and Sp.3) away from the fourth one (Sp.4). The results indicated that applied SSR and ISSR markers most likely suitable for characterization at genus level and provide an important tool for future analyses of macroalgae such as Chara species.
Characeae, Chara canescens, Morphology, Genetic characterization, ISSR, Microsatellites.