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Algae Biology Homework Help

Algae are referred as non-green plants like organism which are autotrophic, simple, chlorophyll bearing and are mostly aquatic but can be found in moist stones, woods and also in association with animals and fungi (lichens). They are generally microscopic abut some are massive in appearance e.g. giant kelps.

 

Reproduction in Algae

Algae reproduce by three methods namely sexual, asexual and vegetative reproduction

Vegetative reproduction occurs as a result of thallus development from a small fragment this process is known as fragmentation.

Asexual reproduction is done by developing various kinds of spores. Most common being the zoospores (flagellated)

Sexual reproduction results from fusion of two gametes. It can be of three types

Isogamous - Gametes are similar in size. It can either be flagellated (Chlamydomonas) or non flagellated (Spirogyra)

Anisogamous - Gametes are dissimilar in size

Oogamous - Male gamete is small and motile while female gamete is large and non motile e.g. volvox

 

Uses of Algae

1.      Helps in carbon dioxide fixation by photosynthesis

2.      Helps to circulate energy rich food in food cycles of aquatic animals.

3.      Agar is obtained from some species of Gracilaria.

4.      Spirullina is used as food supplement as it is rich in proteins.

 

Algae are further divided into three classes as

Class Chlorophyceae

They are known as green algae due to the presence of chlorophyll a and b. Chloroplast are found in different shapes like spiral, cup-shaped, reticulate etc. Chloroplast contains storage body known as pyrenoids having proteins and starch. There cell wall is rigid having cellulose in the inner side and pectose in the outer wall. Reproduction is reported to occur by vegetative, asexual and sexual reproduction. Some members include Chlamydomonas

 

Class Phaeophyceae

Commonly found in marine systems and also known as brown algae. They are known to occur in simple filamentous forms like ectocarpous and massive forms like kelps. They generally have pigments like chlorophylla and c, xanthophylls and carotenoids. Color of brown algae depends on the amount of fucosanthin (xanthophyll) pigment present in them. Food storage generally occurs in the form of manitol. Cell wall is covered by algin from outside. It also possesses aholdfast having stalk, stipe and frond to attach to the substratum. All three type of reproduction is seen in brown algae. Pear shaped unequal biflagellated zoospores are seen in case of asexual reproduction. Some members include Ectocarpus, Dictyota,

 

Class Phaeophyceae

Commonly found in marine systems and also known asbrown algae. They are known to occur in simple filamentous forms likeectocarpous and massive forms likekelps. They generally have pigments likechlorophylla and c, xanthophylls and carotenoids. Color of brown algae depends on the amount offucosanthin (xanthophyll) pigment present in them. Food storage generally occurs in the form of manitol. Cell wall is covered byalgin from outside. It also possesses aholdfast havingstalk, stipe and frond to attach to the substratum. All three type of reproduction is seen in brown algae. Pear shaped unequal biflagellated zoospores are seen in case of asexual reproduction. Some members include Ectocarpus, Dictyota, Laminaria , Sargassum

Rhodophyceae

This alga is red in color because of the presence of red pigment r-phycoerythrin. They are mostlymarine and prefer warmer regions. They possess a complex body with food stored in the form of floridean starch. They reproduce by all three means with the help of non motile spores in case of asexual reproduction and non motile gametes in case of sexual reproduction. Some members includes Polysiphonia(Fig 5), Porphyra (Fig 6) , Gracilaria and Gelidium etc.