Characteristics of Phaeophyceae (Brown algae)

The members of Phaeophyceae are popularly called brown algae. The brown colour of this group of algae is due to the possession of a pigment called fucoxanthin. There are about 1500 species enlisted in phaeophyceae. Fritsch (1945) divided the whole brown algae in to nine orders: Ectocarpales, Tilopteridales, Cutleriales, Sporochnales, Desmarestiales, Laminariales, Sphacelariales, Dicotyotales and Fucales.
example of phaeophyceae (brown algae)
Characteristics of Class Phaeophyceae (Brown Algae):
  • Mostly marine, with unicellular or multicellular body.
  • Cells are eukaryotic, with special type of excretory granules in vesicles.
  • Chief pigments are chlorophyll a and c, beta carotene, lutein, fucoxanthin, dioxanthin and violaxanthin.
  • Reserve food includes laminarin, mannitol and oils.
  • Sexual reproduction is isogamous, anisogamous or oogamous.
  • Zoospore formation is common.
  • Male gametes are flagellated.
  • Flagella are heterokont.
  • Life cycle is haplobiotic or diplobiotic, with alternation of generations.
This is summarized video on Fritsch Classification with characteristics of each class
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