Main Characteristics of Class Chlorophyceae (Green algae)

Chlorophyceae forms a major class of algae which is characterized by green plastids called chloroplast. This plastids called chloroplast. This plastid contains a starch storing region called pyrenoids. About 425 genera and 20000 species are known. In 1935 Fritsch divided chlorophyceae into nine orders: Volvocales, Chlorococcales, Ulotricales, Cladophorales,  Chaetophorales, Oedogoniales, Conjugales, Siphonales and Charales.
Characteristics of Class Chlorophyceae:
  • Fresh water or marine algae, with unicellular or multicellular body.
  • Cells are eukaryotic, containing cellulose in the cell wall.
  • Chief pigments include chlorophyll a and b, alpha, beta and gamma carotenes, lycopene, hexanthin, lentin, violaxanthin and astaxanthin.
  • Reserve food includes starch and very rarely oils. Starch is elaborated in pyrenoids
  • Sexual reproduction is isogamous, anisogamous or oogamous.
  • Zoospore formation is common.
  • Male gametes are flagellate and hence motile.
  • Flagella are isokont (identical)
  • Life cycle is mostly haplontic.
Example of green algae
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