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EXERCISE 4: EUKARYOTIC ALGAE: GREEN PIGMENTED TYPES

I. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
In this exercise, there are two divisions of green pigmented eukaryotic algae that are
introduced — Euglenophyta and Chlorophyta.
The Euglenophyta is a large group of flagellate protozoa. They include a variety of
common free-living species, as well as a few important parasites, some of which infect humans
and are unicellular ("Euglenozoa", 2013). Most euglenoids have two flagella, which are inserted
parallel to one another in an apical or subapical pocket. In some these are associated with
a cytostome or mouth, used to ingest bacteria or other small organisms. Some feed through
absorption, and many possess chloroplasts and so obtain energy through photosynthesis.
These chloroplasts are surrounded by three membranes and contain chlorophylls A and B,
along with other pigments, so are probably derived from a captured green alga. Reproduction
occurs exclusively through cell division. During mitosis, the nuclear membrane remains intact,
and the spindle microtubules form inside of it. (Patterson, 1999).
Under Euglenophyta is the genus Euglena. Species of Euglena are found in fresh and
salt

waters

(Woloski,

et.al,

n.d.).

Most

species

of Euglena have

photosynthesizing chloroplasts within the body of the cell, which enable them to feed
by autotrophy, like plants. However, they can also take nourishment heterotrophically, like
animals (Margulis, et.al, 2007). When feeding as a heterotroph, Euglena surrounds a particle of
food and consumes it by phagocytosis. When there is sufficient sunlight for it to feed
by phototrophy, it uses chloroplasts containing the pigments Chlorophyll a and Chlorophyll b to
produce sugars by photosynthesis (Nisbet, et.al, 1984). Euglena's chloroplasts are surrounded
by three membranes, while those of plants and the green algae have only two membranes. This
fact has been taken as morphological evidence that Euglena's chloroplasts evolved from
a eukaryotic green alga (Gibbs, et.al, 1978). Euglena chloroplasts contain pyrenoids, used in
the synthesis of paramylon, a form of starch energy storage enabling Euglena to survive periods
of light deprivation. All Euglenoids have two flagella rooted in basal bodies located in a small
reservoir at the front of the cell. In Euglena, one flagellum is very short, and does not protrude
from the cell, while the other is relatively long, and often easily visible with light microscopy. In
some species, the longer, emergent flagellum is used to help the organism swim. Like other
Euglenoids, Euglena possess a red eyespot, an organelle composed of carotenoid pigment

2011). as seen in cross-section. Some conduct sexual reproduction. soft and translucent. April 2007). Under the class Ulvophyceae. and grows attached. Reproduction occurs by segregative cell division. It is also known as "bubble algae" and "sailors' eyeballs" and is a species of algae found in oceans throughout the world in tropical and subtropical regions. tough. this species in the Chlorophyta is formed of two layers of cells irregularly arranged.al. it filters the sunlight that falls on a light-detecting structure at the base of the flagellum allowing only certain wavelengths of light to reach it. which become separate from the mother cell The single-cell organism has forms ranging from spherical to ovoid. there can be two or more apical flagella. The chloroplast is cup-shaped in some references but as a parietal plate in others with one to three pyrenoids (Burrows. When present. Ulvophyceae contains marine organisms that take a variety of shapes that may consist of a few cells. The "bubble" alga is attached by rhizoids to the substrate fibers. other species are adapted to a wide range of environments. long filaments. Ulva is a thin flat green alga growing from a discoid holdfast. where the multinucleic mother cell makes daughter cells. The membrane is two cells thick. the nuclear envelope and the mitotic spindle persist. Members of the Chlorophyta also form symbiotic relationships with protozoa. They typically grow individually. but in rare cases they can grow in groups.al. While most species live in freshwater habitats and a large number in marine habitats.. or coenocytic cells. sponges. thin sheets of cells. is class Ulvophyceae.granules. 1995). permitting the Euglena to find the light and move toward it (Schaechter. to rocks or other algae by a small disc-shaped holdfast. et.. as they do in the Charophyceae (“The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia” . and the color varies from grass green to dark green. the eyespot partially blocks the source. 1991). which is oogamous or isogamous (Kapraul. 2007). and cnidarians. 2012). without a stipe. During mitosis. (“Ulva lactuca”. although in . et. multinucleic cell. and individual rhizoids form new bubbles. Green to dark green in colour. The red spot itself is not thought to be photosensitive. The division contains both unicellular and multicellular species. Rather. is the genus Ulva or “sea lettuce”. They have an alternation of generations and unlike in the other classes. All are flagellated and these have an advantage of motility. Chlorophyta is a division of green algae that contains chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b and store food as starch in their plastids (Hoek. Most approach being radially symmetrical. The thallus consists of a thin-walled. As the cell rotates with respect to the light source. meiosis occurs in the spores rather than the zygotes. Under Chlorophyta. Another genus is Ventricaria (Valonia).

These nuclei undergo meiosis and are transported to the tips of the branches.. The only way to tell the two stages apart is to either count their chromosomes. The non-erect species form either a prostrate or globular thallus with a velvet-like surface. Caulerpa is a genus of seaweeds in the family Caulerpaceae (among the green algae). The only visible difference between the .al. 2008). also known as “mermaid’s wine glass”. 2008). Acetabularia are among the largest single-celled organisms. its median stalk. 1985). teal. making them among the biggest single cells in the world (Bold. Calcium carbonate is deposited in its tissues. mainly because of the great variation in their appearances. The algal body (thallus) is composed of calcified green segments. age and environmental conditions. the final branches forming a close cortex of utricles (Burrows. 1991). There are usually several whorls of hair-like appendages close to the apex. This is determined by the quantity of chloroplasts of the specimen (Lee. The genus Codium has thalli of two forms. having also a remarkably large nucleus.al. Halimeda. The genus Cladophora contains many species that are very hard to tell apart and classify. where they are released as gametes (Shihira-Ishikawa. individual organisms are made up of single multi-nucleate cells. The final branches form a surface layer of close palisade cortex of utricles. making it inedible to most herbivores. Whole meadows may consist of a single individual alga connected by fine threads running through the substrate (Guiry. or even blackish (Bauer. Another genus is Acetabularia. They are unusual because they consist of only one cell with many nuclei. The filaments of Cladophora branch and it doesn't undergo conjugation. which accounts for most of its length. a short set of root-like appendages that contain the nucleus and anchor the cell to fissures in a substrate. forming many daughter nuclei all within one nuclear membrane. Acetabularia has three basic parts: its rhizoid. et. or examine their offspring. 2007). Another genus is the Cladophora. and its apex. There are two multicellular stages in its life cycle . not calcareous. The haploid gametophyte produces haploid gametes by mitosis and the diploid sporophyte produces haploid spores by meiosis. Caulerpa. the sporangia. The erect plants are dichotomously branched to 40 cm long with branches forming a compact spongy structure. As in other members of the order Bryopsidales.water they may appear to be silver. Halimeda is a genus of green macroalgae. the nucleus undergoes multiple rounds of mitosis. Next observed are the siphonous macroalgae –Codium.which look highly similar. 1984). et. where its cap forms. During sexual reproduction.a haploid gametophyte and a diploid sporophyte . which is affected by habitat. either erect or prostrate.

Pyrenoids contain protein besides starch. vegetative cells comprise a single layer with the flagella facing outward. It consists of two or three.al. called protoplasmates. An asexual colony includes both somatic . The cells have eyespots. The cells swim in a coordinated fashion. more or less parallel rows of linearly arranged fat droplets (Aoyama. Contractile vacuoles found at near the bases of flagella. which has a single large pyrenoid where starch is formed from photosynthetic products. Most of the members have one or more storage bodies called Pyrenoids located in the chloroplast. which enable the colony to swim towards light. The nucleus is enclosed in a cup-shaped chloroplast.. up to 50. Two anteriorly inserted whiplash flagella. 2007) Under Chlorophyceae is the genus Chlamydomonas. Generally oval in shape. et. Pyrenoid with starch sheath is present in the posterior end of the chloroplast. 2003)..gametes and spores of Cladophora is that the gametes have two flagella and the spores have four (Gestinari. acting like one multicellular organism (Ikushima. Flagella originates from a basal granule located in the anterior papillate or non-papillate region of the cytoplasm. et. Volvox is the most developed in a series of genera that form spherical colonies. 1968). Eye spot present in the anterior portion of the chloroplast. more developed near the anterior. The individual algae in some species are interconnected by thin strands of cytoplasm.al. The chloroplast contains bands composed of a variable number of the photosynthetic thylakoids which are not organized into grana-like structures.000 in total and embedded in the surface of a hollow sphere or coenobium containing an extracellular matrix made of a gelatinous glycoprotein (Hallmann. platelike. The next class is the Class Chlorophyceae. 2010). 2009). reticulate. cup-shaped. The chloroplast may be discoid. Green algae usually have a rigid cell wall made up of an inner layer of cellulose and outer layer of pectose (Guiry.. Except during the formation of daughter colonies. Some algae may store food in the form of oil droplets. with distinct anterior and posterior poles. Each mature Volvox colony is composed of numerous flagellate cells similar to Chlamydomonas. Another genus is the Genus Volvox. et. They are usually green due to the dominance of pigments chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. It is a motile unicellular algae. Prominent cup or bowl shaped chloroplast is present.al. Cell wall is made up of glycoprotein and non-cellulosic polysaccharides instead of cellulose. They are known to demonstrate some individuality and working for the good of their colony. Flagellum shows typical 9+2 arrangement of the component fibrils. spiral or ribbon shaped in different species.

one zoospore per zoosporangium. The next class is the Class Charophyceae. which produce new colonies through repeated division. which do not reproduce. They become attached to surfaces by a modified holdfast cell. 2008).The cell wall is composed of propectin and cellulose and it lacks mucilage. The egg and sperm then fuse and form a zygote which is diploid2n. 2007). These develop in a zoosporangium cell. Male colonies release numerous microgametes. Volvox species can be monoecious or dioecious. which attaches the filament to the substratum. a zoospore grows into a filament. 1998). fresh water. The plant body consists of unbranched. and oogonia which produce an egg. or eggs. Ulothrix is a genus of filamentous green algae. or sperm. In sexual reproduction two types of gametes are produced. The apical cell is somewhat rounded at its terminal end whereas the basal cell is elongated and does not have chlorophyll. The daughter colonies are initially held within the parent coenobium and have their flagella directed inwards. though it is usually attached to aquatic plants by a holdfast. Next is the genus Oedogonium.1n (Guiry. and they thrive in the low temperatures of spring and winter. i. at.(vegetative) cells. Oedogonium is a genus of filamentous green algae. The life cycle of Oedogonium is haplontic. Next is the Ulothrix. uniseriate filaments. generally found in fresh and marine water. They are Eukaryotic and unicellular.e. Its cells are normally as broad as they are long. Reproduction is normally vegetative. (Kirk. Oedogonium can reproduce asexually by fragmentation of the filaments. and other defining characteristics of plants evolved first in charophytes. After settling and losing its flagella.al. et. The zygote then produces the filamentous green alga which is haploid. through some other types of non-motile spores. Oedogonium can be free-floating. with unbranched filaments that are one cell thick. the parent disintegrates and the daughters invert.. Spirogyra is unbranched with cells connected end to end in long male reproductive system filaments. release the sperm and egg. and gonidia near the posterior. This genus of green . It appears greenish and inhabits calm..al. Antheridia which produce sperm. Many of its complex traits is related to sexual reproduction. They are barrel-shaped or cylindrical in shape. which have many flagella. while in female colonies single cells enlarge to become oogametes.. meiosis is zygotic. analysis of chloroplast DNA (Campbell. photosynthesis. Later. and also through zoospores. Each cell has a single girdle-like and parietal chloroplast and two to many pyrenoids are present in each chloroplast (Guiry. It is also called the basal holdfast. The cells of the filaments are arranged end to end. 2005) Under the class Charophyceae is the genus Spirogyra.

The cytoplasm forms a thin lining between the cell wall and the large vacuole it surrounds. a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of most members of the division Chlorophyta and all members of the more highly evolved plant groups (Guiry. Polymers in the cell wall may help protect the cell from drying out and allow them to survive for months in environments . Surrounding the pryenoid are numerous starch granules. appearing as small round bodies. The chloroplasts are ribbon shaped. Next genus is Cosmarium.al. and Spirogyra simply undergoes the intercalary mitosis to form new filaments (Whitton. resulting in the prominent and characteristic green spiral on each filament. A single haploid nucleus occupies the isthmus. at. Occasionally there are two chloroplasts per semicell. The cell wall may be smooth or lined by thin longitudinal striae or large pores that are visible with high resolution microscopy. et. Terminal vacuoles at the cell tips hold vibrating crystals of barium or calcium sulfate. even though the cells are only slightly contricted in the middle compared to other placoderms. Chloroplasts are embedded in the peripheral cytoplasm. 2007). Closterium cells are crescent-shaped or elongate and lack spines. and spirally arranged. Each semicell has a single axial. fragmentation takes place. The nucleus is located in the center of the cell between the chloroplasts.. Brownian motion causes these microscopic particles to move erratically due to the impacts of collisions with the surrounding liquid molecules in which they are suspended. serrated or scalloped. ridged chloroplast with at least one pyrenoid. Spirogyra can reproduce both sexually and asexually. In vegetative reproduction. the function of which are unknown. A large portion of the protoplast of each semicell is occupied by a clear vacuole. Some are quite straight and needle-like. The cell wall is relatively rigid and composed of cellulose. Each chloroplast contains several pyrenoids. Closterium is a placoderm desmid because the cell walls have pores to secrete mucilage. The cell wall has two layers: the outer wall is composed of pectin that dissolves in water to make the filament slimy to touch while the inner wall is of cellulose. freshwater member of division Chlorophyta.. Next is the genus Closterium. and is sometimes yellow or brown in color. Cosmarium is a relatively large unicell characterized by a constriction in the middle of the cell (termed the isthmus) which divides it into two symmetrical halves or semicells. 2002). Each semicell is partly filled by a large green chloroplast containing two pyrenoids composed of proteinaceous material. while others are much broader with curved ends. Cosmarium is a non-motile. centers for the production of starches.algae undergoes a haploid-dominant life cycle.al. Some species have extra sections in the cell wall called girdle bands. The ends of the cell are usually tapered and may be pointed or rounded. their numbers are variable.

amylum stars and secondary protonema. et. 1966). together on the same plant (conjoined monoecy) or separately on the same plant (sejoined monoecy).. the zygote develops into an oospore (McCracken. Vegetative reproduction takes place by tubers.Chara plants are rough to the touch because of deposited calcium salts on the cell wall. rhizoids (multicellular with oblique septa) and stipulodes (needle shaped structures at the base of secondary laterals (Round.such as the dried mud at the edges of lakes. is the genus Chara. It consists of a main axis (differentiated into nodes and internodes). After fertilization.. Like some desmids.al. The branching system of Chara species is complex with branches derived from apical cells which cut off segments at the base to form nodal and internodal cells alternately. . 1966). et. Closterium moves in a somersaulting motion by secreting mucilage from alternating ends of the cell (Carter. They are typically anchored to the littoral substrate by means of branching underground rhizoids. Lastly. The plant body is a gametophyte. The fructifications for sexual reproduction are globule or antheridium (male) and nucule or archegonium (female).al. 2008). Chara reproduces vegetatively and sexually. dimorphic branches (long branch of unlimited growth and short branches of limited growth). The antheridia and archegonia may occur on separate plants (dioecy). The metabolic processes associated with this deposition often give Chara plants a distinctive and unpleasant smell of hydrogen sulfide.

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