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Algae

Introduction:
Latin: Alga-sea weeds
-Study of algae is known as Algology / Phycology.
Phycology- Gr.words(phykos-sea weeds, logous-study)
Algae is group of Autotrophic plants which fail to show cellular differebtiation and they have the
unicellular sex organs. If the sex organs are multicellular all the cells will be equally fertile. (Thats why
they have more population and capability of adaptability too)
Characteristics of algae:
1. Algae are found in aquatic habitat both in freshwater as well as marine water. Some of them are also
found in terrestrial habitat where the moisture content is high.
2. The plant body of the thallus organization of algae ranges from unicellular microscopic form
like chlamydomonous(fresh water) to multicellular complex giant form like Macrocystis(180m,marine)
They also show colonial form like volvox and branced or unbranced filamentous form
like spirogyra,cladophora (branched filamentous form)etc
Some of them also have structures showing superficial resemblance with the root,stems and leaves of
higher palnts.
3. Algae lack conducting(vascular bundles) and mechanical tissue(strength providing tissue) so they are soft
to touch
4. The cell is eukaryotic and the cell wall is made up of cellulose along with other substances like
Pectin,algin,chitin,fucoidin,etc. forming two layers.
5. The reserved food material is starch but depending upon the classes other substances may also form the
reserve food substances.
6. The pigments present in algae are chlorophyll-a, chlorophyll-b, xanthophylls, carotenes and
phycobillins/billiproteins. (for color and solar energy trapping pigments)
7. Reproduction takes by vegetative asexual and sexual method.
-Asexual reproduction takes place by spores i.e. motile and non motile spores eg Zygospores
-vegetative reproduction by budding, fission etc
-sexual reproduction by fusion of gametes forms by two organisms of same species.
Classification of Algae:
F.E Fritsch(1935,1945) Phycologist, In his book the structure and reproduction in algae classified the
broad group algae into Eleven classes on the basis of body structure,nature of reserved food
materials,types of pigments,cell wall composition,methodsof reproduction etc.


Three Classes
1. Chlorophyceae(Green algae)
2. Phaephyceae(Brown Algae)
3. Rhodophyceae(Red Algae)


1.Chlorophyceae:-
Largest class of algae and includes about 425 genera and over 7000 species.
Characteristics of Chlorophyceae:
a) Habitat:
The members of chlorophyceae are found in fresh water and are cosmopolitan in distribution(found
everywhere) some species are found in amrine water also whereas few species are found to occur in
terrestrial habitat such as moist soil, moist and shaded part of trees, moist rocks etc.
-Freshwater form: chlamydomonas, spirogyra, pithophora, zygnema
-Marine water form: bryopsis, caulerpa, codium
- Terrestrial form:protococcus, trentipohlia.
b) Habit:
The chlorophyceae show wide variety in the thallus organization of its constituent members such as;
-Unicellular,microscopic,motile form :chlamydomonas
-Unicellular, microscopic,non-motile form:chlorella, chlorococcum
-Multicellular/colonial, motile form: volvox,Eudorina,Pandorina
-Multicellular/Colonial,non-motile form: Hydrodictyon, Pediastrum
-Filamentous: Spirogyra,Oedogonium,Cladophora

Chara and nitella have developed structures
c) The cell wall is double layered inner layer is made up of cellulose and the outer layer is
ofPectose(Pectin+water=Pectose;slippery in nature)
d) The reserved food material is starch.
e) The pigments present in Chlorophyceae are chlorophyll-a, chlorophyll-b, xanthophylls, carotenes but
Phycobillins/biliprotein are absent.
f) Zygote represents the only diploid stage in the lifecycle of Chlorophyceae.
(plant body ois gametophyte forming gametes)i.e Haploid
Only zygote is representing sporophyte.
g) The number and shape of chloroplast of different algae members of
Chlorophyceae differ from each other and this character is considered as one of the important character
for the identification of the species
-Cup shaped : chlamydomonas, volvox
-ring shaped : Ulothrix
-Reticulate : Oedogonium,Hydrodictyon
-Spirally coiled : Spirogyra
-Star-shaped : Zygnema
h) The chloroplast contain distinct rounded proteinaceous body inside them known as Pyrenoidwhich help
in storing/storage of food material.

2. Phaeophyceae:
Characters of Phaeophyceae:
1. Habitat: The brown algae are predominantly found in the marine water s\except few species such
asPleurocladia,lithoderma,spacelaria which are found in fresh water. They are generally found attached to
the substratum with the help of specialized structure khown as holdfast except few species
as Sargassam(marine species)which form free floating masses. E.g other marine species are Fucus,
Ectocarpus etc ; freshwater species are Pleurocladia,lithoderma,sphacelaria are fresh water.
2. Habit: Brown algae are advanced group of algae so unicellular,colonial and unbranced filamentous forms
are absent. They show Heterotrichous filamentous form as the simplest form.In Heterotrichous
filaments,they have got two distinct types of brances.The random branches are absent.
3. In some species the plant body is differentiated into Holdfast,stem like stipe and flattened leaves
likeblades. They have superficial resemblance like above insome species like Fucus.
4. The cell wall is double layered. Inner layer os made up of cellulose and outer layer contains Fucidin
(fucinic acid)and algin(alginic acid) along with Fucin.These can absorb large amount of water so water
remain inside plant body fork very long period even during winter.
5. The reserved food materials fare Laminarin and Mannitol along with this Chloride,Iodides,sucrose and
glycerol are also Present.
6. The pigments of Phaeophyceae are chlorophyll-a, chlorophyll-c,-carotene and Fucoxanthin( brown
coloured Xanthophyll). They lack chlorophyll-b and billiproteins.
7. The reproduction takes place by vegetative, asexual and sexual methods. The diploid zygote directly
germinates into sporophytic plant body without zygotic meosis. Hence the plant body is sporophyte and
gametophyte only during meiosis.

3.Rhodophyceae:

Characteristics of Rhodophyceae:
1. The red algae are found in marine water their number is high in deeper and warmer parts of subtropical
and tropical water but their number is less in polar seas. Few fresh water species such
asBactrachospermium, Lamanea, Thorea are found in cold and fre flowing water. Their number is high in
marine water. Unicellular red algae like Porphyridium is found in terrestrial habitat. Some red algae
likePolyciphonia, Calceocolax are in Parasitic form of Rhodophyceae.
2. Habit: Except few unicellular form like porphyridium palmelloid form like Asterocytic,Filamentous form
like Goniotrichum most of the red algae are categorized in to two types on the basis of their thallus
organization.they are:
-Uniaxial(one axis) form: Bactrachospermum, Dumontia,Delesseria
-Multiaxial(many axis and each axis giving many branches) :Polysiphonia,Helminthocladia, chondrus
3. Cell wall is double layered, inner-layer is made up of cellulose and outer layer contains pectic material
along with polysulphated esters such as agar,porphyrans.
4. The reserved food materials are FLoridean starch(complex carbohydrates),florodoside,mannoglycerate
and fat droplets.
5. Rhodophyceae reproduces by vegetative,asexual and sexual methods
-vegetative by fragments in some cases
-non-motile sspores help in asexual which is Peculiar character
-sexual method by progamous.
6. The pigments in Rhodophyceae are
-chlorophyll-a (C
55
H
72
O
5
N
4
Mg)
-chlorophyll-b (C
55
H
70
O
6
N
4
Mg)
-Carotenes
-xanthophylls
-r-phycocyanin
-r-phycoerythrin
In bottom the light energy of sun cannot reach only blue and violet rays could reach which are trapped by
the phycobillins and transferred to chlorophyll. They occur red at bottom when brought surface they
occurs white in colour.