Algae (/ˈældʒiː/ or /ˈælɡiː/; singular alga /ˈælɡə/, Latin for "seaweed") are a very large and diverse group

of simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelp (large brown alga), that may grow up to 50 meters in length. Most are photosynthetic and "simple" because they lack many of the distinct cell organelles and cell types found in land plants. The largest and most complex marine forms are called seaweeds. Though the prokaryotic cyanobacteria are informally referred to as bluegreen algae, this usage is incorrect[3] since they are regarded as bacteria.[4] The term algae is now restricted to eukaryotic organisms.[5] All true algal cells therefore have a nucleus enclosed within a membrane and plastids bound in one or more membranes.[3][6] Algae constitute a polyphyletic group[3] since they do not include a common ancestor, and although their plastids seem to have a single origin, from cyanobacteria,[1] they were acquired in different ways. Green algae are examples of algae that have primary chloroplasts derived from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria. Diatoms are examples of algae with secondary chloroplasts derived from an endosymbiotic red alga.[7] Algae exhibit a wide range of reproductive strategies, from simple, asexual cell division to complex forms of sexual reproduction.[8]

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