Glaucophyte

division of algae

The glaucophytes are a small group of freshwater microscopic algae.[1] Together with the red algae (Rhodophyta) and green algae plus land plants (Viridiplantae or Chloroplastida), they form the Archaeplastida.

Glaucophyta
Glaucocystis sp.jpg
Glaucocystis sp.
Scientific classification
Domain:
(unranked):
Phylum:
Glaucophyta

Skuja, 1954
Possible genera
  • Glaucocystis
  • Cyanophora
  • Gloeochaete
Synonyms

Glaucocystophyta

The glaucophytes are of interest because they may be similar to the original algal type that led to green plants and red algae.[1][2] The relationships between these groups are not yet clear,[3] and the glaucophytes in particular need more study.

CharacteristicsEdit

The chloroplasts of glaucophytes are known as 'cyanelles'. Unlike the chloroplasts in other organisms, they have a peptidoglycan layer, like bacterial cell walls. This is thought to be a relic of the endosymbiotic origin of plastids from cyanobacteria.[1]

Glaucophytes have the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll a.[1] They harvest light with the same type of pigment molecules as do cyanobacteria and red algae.[1] Green algae and land plants have lost that pigment, which is known as phycobiliprotein.[4]

Glaucophyte mitochondria and flagella (if present) are similar to forms found in some green algae.[4]

ClassificationEdit

Only 13 species of glaucophytes are known, none of which is particularly common in nature.[1] There are three genera.

The glaucophytes were previously placed in the order Chlorococcales.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Patrick J. Keeling (2004). "Diversity and evolutionary history of plastids and their hosts". American Journal of Botany. 91 (10): 1481–1493. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1481. PMID 21652304.
  2. Kim, Eunsoo & Graham, Linda E. (2008). "EEF2 analysis challenges the monophyly of Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata" (Free full text). PLoS ONE. 3 (7): e2621. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002621. PMC 2440802. PMID 18612431.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. Palme J.D; Soltis D.E. & Chase M.W. (2004). "The plant tree of life: an overview and some points of view". American Journal of Botany. 91 (10): 1437–1445. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1437. PMID 21652302.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Skuja A. 1948. Taxonomie des Phytoplanktons einiger Seen in Uppland, Schweden. Symbolae Botanicae Upsalienses 9 (3): 1-399.
  5. Glaucocystis