Characteristics of Class Xanthophyceae (Yellow Green Algae):These are yellow green algae which contain chlorophyll a but lack chlorophyll b. Instead of chlorophyll b they possess chlorophyll e or c. Besides chlorophylls they possess xanthophylls and beta carotene. The class Xanthophyceae is divided into four orders: Heterochloridales, Heterococcidales, Heterotrichales and Heterosiphonales.
- Mostly fresh water with unicellular to siphonous body.
- Cells are eukaryotic with silica and pectin in the cell wall.
- Chief pigments include chlorophyll a and e, beta carotene, neoxanthin and violaxanthin.
- Reserve food includes chrysolaminarin and oils; Starch and pyrenoids absent.
- Sexual reproduction is isogamous, anisogamous or oogamous.
- Zoospore formation is common.
- Male gametes are flagellate.
- Flagella are heterokont (unequal)
- Life cycle is mostly haplontic.