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golden algae[′gol·dən ′al·jē]
(Chrysophyta), a phylum of lower plants. They are unicellular, colonial, or, more rarely, multicellular (disklike, threadlike, or fruticose), primarily freshwater organisms up to 2 cm long, either free-floating or attached. Their chloroplasts are golden yellow or brown; this is caused by the presence of the yellow pigments phycochrysin, β-carotene, lutein, and diatomin, in addition to chlorophyll. Their assimilation product is leucosin and, more rarely, fats and oil. Golden algae include heterotrophic organisms, some of which are capable of holozoic nutrition. The majority of unicellular golden algae are mobile, with one, two, and sometimes three or four, flagella or pseudopods, contractile vacuoles, and an ocellus; some are covered with a test of scales or are enclosed in a case. Golden algae reproduce by cell division and zoospores; a sexual process occurs in only a few species. The organisms can form silicaceous cysts. About 70 genera with more than 300 species are found in freshwater habitats of the USSR.
IU. E. PETROV