Phaeophyta


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Related to Phaeophyta: Rhodophyta

Phaeophyta

(fēŏf`ətə), phylum (division) of the kingdom ProtistaProtista
or Protoctista
, in the five-kingdom system of classification, a kingdom comprising a variety of unicellular and some simple multinuclear and multicellular eukaryotic organisms.
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 consisting of those organisms commonly called brown algae. Many of the world's familiar seaweedsseaweed,
name commonly used for the multicellular marine algae. Simpler forms, consisting of one cell (e.g., the diatom) or of a few cells, are not generally called seaweeds; these tiny plants help to make up plankton.
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 are members of Phaeophyta. There are approximately 1,500 species. Like the chrysophytes (see ChrysophytaChrysophyta
, phylum (division) of unicellular marine or freshwater organisms of the kingdom Protista consisting of the diatoms (class Bacillariophyceae), the golden, or golden-brown, algae (class Chrysophyceae), and the yellow-green algae (class Xanthophyceae).
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), brown algae derive their color from the presence, in the cell chloroplasts, of several brownish carotenoid pigments, including fucoxanthin, in addition to the photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll a and c. With only a few exceptions, brown algae are marine, growing in the colder oceans of the world, many in the tidal zone, where they are subjected to great stress from wave action; others grow in deep water. Among the brown algae are the largest of all algae, the giant kelps, which may reach a length of over 100 ft (30 m). Fucus (rockweed), Sargassum (gulfweed), and the simple filamentous Ectocarpus are other examples of brown algae.

The cell wall of the brown algae consists of a cellulose differing chemically from that of plants. The outside is covered with a series of gelatinous pectic compounds, generically called algin; this substance, for which the large brown algae, or kelps, of the Pacific coast are harvested commercially, is used industrially as a stabilizer in emulsions and for other purposes. The normal food reserve of the brown algal cell is a soluble polysaccharide called laminarin; mannitol and oil also occur as storage products. The body, or thallus, of the larger brown algae may contain tissues differentiated for different functions, with stemlike, rootlike, and leaflike organs, the most complex structures of all algae.

Some groups of brown algae have evolved an interesting type of alternation of generations, in which physiologically independent haploid gametophyte plants produce gametes, the fusion of which initiates the diploid sporophyte generation. The mature sporophyte plant produces, through meiosismeiosis
, process of nuclear division in a living cell by which the number of chromosomes is reduced to half the original number. Meiosis occurs only in the process of gametogenesis, i.e., when the gametes, or sex cells (ovum and sperm), are being formed.
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, haploid spores, which develop into new gametophytes. The two generations, or phases, may be indistinguishable in size and form, or they may differ greatly. The genus Ectocarpus, for example, is found growing attached to larger algae. It has similar-looking gametophyte and sporophyte plants. In the kelps, however, the gametophyte is only a microscopic filament, in contrast to the occasionally tree-sized sporophyte.

Bibliography

See H. C. Bold and M. J. Wynne, Introduction to the Algae: Structure and Reproduction (1985); C. A. Lembi and J. R. Waaland, Algae and Human Affairs (1988); C. van den Hoek, Algae: an Introduction to Phycology (1994).

Phaeophyta

[fē′äf·əd·ə]
(botany)
The brown algae, constituting a division of plants; the plant body is multicellular, varying from a simple filamentous form to a complex, sometimes branched body having a basal attachment.
References in periodicals archive ?
No Name of the Species Division Chactomorpha spp Chlorophyceae Cladophora fascicularis Chlorophyceae Ulval lactusa Chlorophyceae Caulerpa racemosa Chlorophyceae Caulerpa seertulariodes Chlorophyceae Valoniopsis pachynema Chlorophyceae Sargassum ilicifolium Phaeophyta S.
A revised checklist increases the total number of species from 88 to 112, with a distribution of 66 Rhodophyta, 15 Phaeophyta and 31 Chlorophyta.
A total of 112 species (67 Rhodophyta, 15 Phaeophyta and 30 Chlorophyta) were described.
A total of 91 species of macroalgae, including 34 Chlorophyta, 11 Phaeophyta, and 46 Rhodophyta is listed, including three species that have not been reported from eastern Mexico--Predaea feldmannii Borgesen, Ceramium nitens (C.
Of these, 34 belong to the Division Chlorophyta, 11 to Phaeophyta and 46 to Rhodophyta (Fig.