Red algae

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


noun, singular: red alga

A group of algae that are known for having chlorophyll and accessory pigments (i.e. phycoerythrin, phycocyanin and allophycocyanins) in phycobillisomes, giving them a reddish colour


The red algae are algal species that are characterized by their reddish bodily structures. Their colour is due to the presence of the accessory pigments, phycoerythrin, phycocyanin and allophycocyanins. Another distinctive feature is the absence of flagella and centrioles. They also form pit connections and pit plugs. The pit connections and pit plugs they form during cytokinesis following mitosis are unique to red algae. The pit connections are thought to play a role in cell-to-cell communication and/or symplastic transport.

Many of them are marine species and are found along the coastal and continental shelf areas of tropical, temperate and cold-water regions.1

The red algae belong to Rhodophyta. It is one of the largest groups of algae. There are about 5000-6000 species of red algae.2 Examples of red algal species are Rhodella, Compsopogon, Stylonema, Bangia, Porphyra, Porphyridium cruentum, Hildenbrandia, Nemalion, Corallina officinalis, Ahnfeltia, Gelidium, etc.

Scientific classification:

See also:

1 Rhodophyta. Retrieved from [[1]].
2 Thomas, D. (2002). Seaweeds. Life Series. London: Natural History Museum.