What is special about red algae?

Aug 09, 2022, 16:45 IST

Special about red algae


Red algae are an ancient group of algae with over 5,000 living species.

They are marine except for a few fresh water species (e.g. Batrachospermum, Compsopogon, Lemnaea).

Red algae are autotrophic with the exception of a few like Harveyella and Riccardia that are colourless and parasitic on other red algae Harveyella is parasitic over Polysiphonia.

A motile or flagellate stage is completely absent.

The plant body varies from unicellular to multicellular forms.

Cell wall possesses cellulose, pectic compounds and certain mucopolysaccharides called phycocolloids.

The latter are usually sulphated. The important phycocolloids of red algae are agar, carrageenin and funori.

The photosynthetic organelles are called chromatophor They have single thylakoid. Photosynthetic pigments include chlorophyll a, carotenoids and phycobilins. Chlorophyll d has been reported in some cases. Phycobilins are water soluble pigments of two types, red coloured phycoerythrin and blue coloured phycocyanin.

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The red colour of red algae is due to abundant formation of phycoerythrin.

Reserve food is floridian starch. In constitution, it is very much similar to glycogen.

Vegetative reproduction takes place by fragmentation, gemmae, and regeneration of holdfast.

Sexual reproduction takes place through a variety of spores.

What is special about red algae? pdf

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