Red Algae

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okay now we’re going to run to the second group of bigger algae seaweeds and that is the red algae I’m quickly going to show you that the red algae according to the latest molecular data belong very close to all the green things so most scientists would now say that the red algae which are very beautiful are actually plants as well so we have two groups of algae are really plants the rest are not hence the quotation marks around plants now looking at the characteristics of the red algae they are plants maybe six to eight thousand species and in this case ninety percent are marine a flip sort of from what we saw with the green algae some of these red algae are actually calcified and are important components in coral reefs Nancy Knowlton is not here so I can perhaps get away with saying this red algae experts don’t even use the term coral reef because that ignores how important the coral and red algae can be they refer to them as biological reef sand that way the full credit to the coral analogy is least possible many of you are familiar with auger and the carrageenan our commercial polysaccharide products that come from the red algae and have been used in an industrial economic sense for at least two or three hundred years many of you are more familiar with poor fyra this is what it looks like ona herbarium sheet and that is lava or the coating around your sushi so when you are eating sushi you are eating algae and if you like sushi remember that if you don’t like sushi forget it pharmaceuticals which I’ll talk about again in a second are an important topic relative to the algae and red algae have been used in experimental processes for many years looking for anti virus and anti-cancer compounds and lastly I’m just going to mention porphyry diemporphyra diem is a unit cell shown in this transmission electron microscope picture and because it was a single cell red alga it was used in a lot of fundamental research comparing for example photosynthesis in red algae with photosynthesis in green plants also I worked on that organism from my PhD finishing the seaweeds we’re going to jump over here to the brown algae these are the macho algae and that is because they generally are very big now it’s interesting on that tree of life it’s quite clear they are not closely related to the plants so they are not plants ina strict sense however it is fascinatingthe giant Celts have evolved anatomythat is in a sense identical to that inland plants including trees so they’revery plant like even if they’re notplants but only 2200 species and almostall of them are marine anybody who findsfreshwater brown algae is almostinstantly famous because they’re so rarethere are some small brown algaeincluding the rare freshwater one butmost of them arelarge macroscopic things you see theseaweeds along the shore and of coursethe giant Celts alginic acid is thecompound in the walls of many of thekelps including macrocystis that hasbeen the basis of industrial use for along long time the whole industry was anice story for San Diego and as soon asI moved here calcio I believe closeddown its kelp processing operations andhas gone to Scotland but neverthelessthe whole story of the ecology of thekelp beds and the industry is afascinating topic and a whole separatelecture this is just a rogues gallerybecause many of you are familiar withthese brown seaweeds along the shoresvarious species of few Kassar foundalmost everywhere these littlereceptacles filled with a jelly-likesubstance some children like to squeezeand pop them at least on the East Coastsome people like to eat them almost likesalty jelly beans for those of you whodo either thing I will let you know thatthese are basically the sexualreproductive structure holding parts ofthe plant so you are eating all the sexorgans of the alga so to speak but ifthat doesn’t bother you then fine plusdel T of most people on the west coastare clearly familiar with at leastseeing this magnificent organism theecology of which is fascinating giventhe habitats in which it grows finallymacrocystis the kelp forest alga no needto say much there Sargassum the algathat myth and stories is based are basedon occurring in masses in the open oceanas you see in the map above and the

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