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Name derivation:

Bonnemaisonia : named for Théophile Bonnemaison, a French pharmacist and naturalist who worked extensively on the Ceramiales

hamifera: L. hamatus: barbed or with hooks at tips

common name: hooked red weed


Bonnemaisonia  C. Agardh  1822;  7 of 22 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2014).

Order Bonnemaisoniales;  Family Bonnemaisoniaceae



Gametophytic Bonnemaisonia alga bear conspicuous hamate hooks; they are erect, densely and oppositely, distichously, or spirally branched, and have  unequal branch pairs that alternate in pairs or along a spiral.  Refractive gland cells are scattered among the plastid-bearing surface cells. Axes are uniaxial and mostly cylindrical with 3 pericentral cells. algae are monoecious or dioecious. Tetrasporophytes are filamentous (Trailliella phase) or form a monostromatic crust (Hymenocolonium phase).  Tetrasporangia have cruciate or irregular divisions.

Similar genera:

See comments above regarding “Trailliellasporophytic phase.

Chemical defenses and its importance in human medicine:

Bonnemaisonia produces chemical defenses, in order to defend itself against bacterial colonization. This is not normally seen in terrestrial plants, because the cost of making a chemical defense would stunt its growth. In Bonnemaisonia, its productions of bromine compounds is used for fitness. The one major bromine compound, 1,1,3,3-tetrabromo-2-heptanone, is used to deter bacterial colonization, which helps with its survival and fitness (Nylund et al. 2013).

Bonnemaisonia also makes an ethanol extract, called BHE in a study, and was tested to see if it could be used to help human keratinocytes against UVA and UVB damage, which was found to be possible (Piao et al.  2015.


Bonnemaisonia hamifera has recently invaded Scandinavian waters, apparently because of its novel allelopathic chemicals (Svensson et al. 2012).


In the North Atlantic, an introduced Asiatic species, with both life history partners often recyclying themselves vegetatively. The Bonnemaisonia gametophytic phase typically grows entangled amongst other seaweeds via its hamate hooks (e.g. Chaetomorpha linum & C. picquotiana). The Trailliella sporophyte phase either grows as spherical epiphytic masses on other seaweeds or as loose lying balls. Both phases tend to occur within the lower littoral and shallow sublittoral zones.




Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry  2014.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 30 May  2014.

Nylund GM, Enge S, Pavia H (2013) Costs and benefits of chemical defense in the red alga Bonnemaisonia hamifera. PLoS ONE 8(4): e61291. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061291

Piao, M. J., Hyun, Y.J., Kang, H.K., Yoo, E.S., Koh, Y.S., and Lee, N.H.  2012.  An ethanol extract derived from Bonnemaisonia Hamifera scavenges Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation-induced reactive oxygen species and attenuates UVB-induced cell damage in human keratinocytes.  Marine Drugs 10(12: 2826-2845

Svensson, J. R., Nylund, G. M., Cervin, G., Toth and G. B., Pavia, H.  2013. Novel chemical weapon of an exotic macroalga inhibits recruitment of native competitors in the invaded range. Journal of Ecology, 101:140–148.

Taylor, W. R.  1957. Marine Algae of the Northeastern Coast of North America. Revised edition. Univ. Michigan Press., Ann Arbor, ix + 509 pp. ( as Asparagopsis hamifera).