What is Red Algae?
The red marine algae is a member of the tribe Amansieae (Rhodomelaceae, Ceramiales, Rhodophyta), in which only Aneurianna and Lenormandia Sonder have foliar blades. They are the distinctive type of species mostly found in the deep freshwater bodies and usually the oldest type of the eukaryotic algae. According to the original description of the genus (Phillips, 2006), Aneurianna differs from Lenormandia in having endogenous branching and elliptic surface pattern with various irregularly ordered ellipses on the blade (so-called “elliptical areolation”) and incurved or inflexed apices, in contrast to absence of endogenous branching, rhombic surface pattern with regularly arranged rhombi (“rhombic areolation”). The colour of red marine algae is mainly due to the presence of its pigment called as chlorophyll A, phycocyanin, and phycoerythrin.
The scientific name of Red Algae is Rhodophyta and they belong to Class Rhodophyceae.
There are two classes of red algal namely the Florideophyceae and Bangiophyceae.
Both Florideophyceae and Bangiophyceae comprise 99% of red algal diversity in marine and freshwater habitats.
Listed below are general characteristics of Red Algae.
- Filamentous structure.
- Apical growth, Complex oogamy(triphasic)
- Pit connections
- Unicellular, filament, blade structure.
- Have diffuse growth pattern.
- Simple life histories.
- E.g. Porphyra
- No Flagella – different from other groups (except diatoms).
- The presence of photosynthetic pigments.
- A phycobilisome (like Cyanophyta) composed of phycobiliproteins, phycoerythrin (red color) Phycocyanin (blue color) Allophycocyanin.
Uses of Red Algae
- Algae provide natural food for fish and other aquatic animals.
- Red alga is the most important commercial food in Japan and in the region of North Atlantic.
- Agar or agar-agar, a jelly-like substance which is used in puddings, dairy toppings and other instant food products is extracted from Red algae.
- Red algae are used as the source of food for thousands of years as they are high in vitamins, minerals, a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants.
- They are sources of dietary fiber as they have the ability to promote healthy circulation, lower bad cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels.
- They are also involved in nourishes your skin, boosting the immune system and contributing bone health.
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