Algae - Morphology


A range of algal morphologies are exhibited, and convergence of features in unrelated groups is common. The only groups to exhibit three dimensional multicellular thalli are the reds and browns, and some chlorophytes. Apical growth is constrained to subsets of these groups: the florideophyte reds, various browns, and the charophytes. The form of charophytes is quite different to those of reds and browns, because have distinct nodes, separated by internode 'stems'; whorls of branches reminiscent of the horsetails occur at the nodes. Conceptacles are another polyphyletic trait; they appear in the coralline algae and the Hildenbrandiales, as well as the browns.

Most of the simpler algae are unicellular flagellates or amoeboids, but colonial and non-motile forms have developed independently among several of the groups. Some of the more common organizational levels, more than one of which may occur in the life cycle of a species, are

  • Colonial: small, regular groups of motile cells
  • Capsoid: individual non-motile cells embedded in mucilage
  • Coccoid: individual non-motile cells with cell walls
  • Palmelloid: non-motile cells embedded in mucilage
  • Filamentous: a string of non-motile cells connected together, sometimes branching
  • Parenchymatous: cells forming a thallus with partial differentiation of tissues

In three lines even higher levels of organization have been reached, with full tissue differentiation. These are the brown algae,—some of which may reach 50 m in length (kelps)—the red algae, and the green algae. The most complex forms are found among the green algae (see Charales and Charophyta), in a lineage that eventually led to the higher land plants. The point where these non-algal plants begin and algae stop is usually taken to be the presence of reproductive organs with protective cell layers, a characteristic not found in the other alga groups.

Read more about this topic:  Algae

Other articles related to "morphology":


Morphology may mean:

  • Morphology (linguistics), the study of the structure and content of word forms
  • Morphology (biology), the study of the form or shape of an organism or part thereof
  • Morphology (molecular), study of how the shape and form of molecules affect their chemical properties, dynamic reconfiguration and interactions
  • Morphology (astronomy), the shape of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies, or other extended objects
  • Morphology (folkloristics), the structure of narratives such as folk tales
  • Geomorphology, the study of landforms
  • Mathematical morphology, a theoretical model based on lattice theory, used for digital image processing
  • Morphology (Architecture and Engineering), a research, which is based on theories of two dimensional and three dimensional symmetries, and then uses these geometries for planning buildings and structures.
  • River morphology, the field of science dealing with changes of river platform
  • Urban morphology, the study of growth and development of functions in cities
  • Morphological analysis (disambiguation)
  • Morphology (materials science), the study of shape, size, texture and phase distribution of physical objects.
  • Morphology (ideology), the study of the conceptual structure of ideologies, and the rules defining the admissibility of meanings into concepts.
  • Morphology (journal), ISSN 1871-5621
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Famous quotes containing the word morphology:

    I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language.... To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization.
    Frantz Fanon (1925–1961)