Low Molecular Weight Carbohydrates in Red Algae – an Ecophysiological and Biochemical Perspective
The red algae (Rhodophyta) represent a distinct eukaryotic lineage characterized by the accessory photosynthetic pigments phycoerythrin, phycocyanin, and allophycocyanins arranged in phycobilisomes, and the absence of flagella and centrioles (Woelkerling,1990). While some rhodophytes are unicellular, most species grow as filaments or membranous sheets of cells. The evolutionary relationships of simpler red algae, both unicellular and multicellular, have been the subject of extensive investigations for many years (Seckbach,1994). The paleontological specimen Bangiomorpha pubescens from the 1,200-million-year-old Hunting Formation in the Canadian Arctic is morphologically very similar to the contemporary genus Bangia(Butterfield et al., 1990), and hence represents the earliest putative record for taxonomically resolvable complex multicellularity among eukaryotes, as well as for the early evolutionary origin of the multicellular red algae.
KeywordsOrganic Osmolytes Anabolic Pathway Chemotaxonomic Marker Isethionic Acid Osmotic Acclimation
We greatly appreciate financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Project EG 151/1-2, Ka 899/13-1).
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