Green Algae


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Taxonomy Phylogeny
o Archaeplastida
   `--o Streptobionta
            `--+--Charales [Charophyceae]

Chlorobionta topics: Fossil Record | Characteristics | Green Algae | Ecology and Lifestyle | References | Links

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The Green Algae - the paraphyletic Chlorophyta and the perhaps equally so (if one allows for reversals amongst ancient forms which would put them on the direct line to land plants) Charophyta - include a number of mostly aquatic forms, including some unicellular and primitive colonial forms, and other multicellular types that however lack a true root system.

Relation to higher plants

They are very closely related to (and probably the ancestors of) the higher plants in the kingdom Plantae (the Embryophyta). Molecular and cellular similarities between green algae, particularly the charophytes, and land plants include the following:

(1) Both the green algae and higher plants have chlorophyll b and beta-carotene

(2) Green algae and plants both have special intracellular membranes (the thylakoid membranes) which contain the chlorophyll stacked into grana.

(3) Charophytes have a cellulose content of 20 to 25% of the cell wall, a composition similar to that of plants.

(4) Cell division in green algae is very similar to that of land plants. Both use microtubules to bring vesicles containing new material in to form the cell plate which will divide the cell into two.

(5) Nuclear genes and RNA are similar between charophytes and plants.


Palaeos com page MAK date?; copied to Palaeos org MAK061014

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