Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Algae Secrets

Infinite Variations

November 12, 2018 — Mark Edwards
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Algae can be such lively little critters that some scientists consider them animals. Many can swim, such as dinoflagellates that have little whip-like structures called flagella which pull or push them through the water. Some algae squish part of their body forwards and crawl along solid surfaces.

Others among the infinite variations of species are made of fine filaments with cells joined from end to end. Some clump together to form colonies while others float independently. Seaweeds may grow in nearly any shape, such as cones, tubes, filaments, circles or may imitate the shape of land plants. Seaweeds developed in parallel evolution with land plants.

Major steps in cell complexity occurred with the evolutionary progression from a virus to bacterium and then from the prokaryotic cells of bacteria to the eukaryotic cells of algae.

Cell walls enable algae protection from the surrounding environment, typically water and pressure, called osmotic pressure. Cell walls regulate osmotic pressure produced by water trying to flow in or out of the cell through its semi-permeable membranes due to a differential in the solution concentrations. Algae typically possess cell walls constructed of cellulose, glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Some species have a cell wall composed of silicic, (silicon) or alginic acid.

Algae Cell Walls

Red algae, for example, are a large group of about 10,000 species of marine algae, including seaweed. These include coralline algae, which live symbiotically with corals, secrete calcium carbonate and play a major role in building coral reefs. Red algae such as dulse (Palmaria palmata) and laver (nori/gim) are a traditional part of European and Asian cuisine and are used to make other products such as agar, carrageenans and many food ingredients.

The broad algae classification includes:

Bacillariophyta – diatoms
Charophyta – stoneworts
Chlorophyta – green algae
Chrysophyta – golden algae
Cyanobacteria – blue-green
Dinophyta – dinoflagellates
Phaeophyta – brown algae
Rhodophyta – red algae

Green algae evolved with chloroplasts, which enables photosynthesis and enhances available O2 in the atmosphere. Prochlorococcus, a blue-green alga, is among the smallest organisms on earth at 0.6 microns, (millionths of a meter), but is one of the most abundant organisms on the planet. A single drop of water may contain more than 100,000 of these single-celled organisms. Trillions of these minute cells make up invisible forests and provide about half the photosynthesis in the oceans.

Even though all algae species combined represent only 0.5% of total global biomass by weight, algae produce about 70% of the net global production of oxygen on Earth – more than all the forests and fields combined. Algae use nitrogen to manufacture amino acids, nucleic acids, chlorophyll and other nitrogen compounds. Cyanobacteria are able to fix nitrogen absorbed from the air, as well as from water, in a process known as diazotrophy. Since the atmosphere is nearly 80% nitrogen, nitrogen fixing is a strong competitive advantage for growth because water-based nitrogen is often limited.

Diatoms, stoneworts and dinoflagellates

Nitrogen fixing also means that algae biomass has significant value as a low energy input, high nitrogen fertilizer. Algae fixes nitrogen naturally without added energy. About 90% of the cost of commercial synthetic fertilizers comes from the energy used to extract nitrogen from the air.

Algae, often called microscopic phytoplankton, grow in most bodies of water, moist places, on and in trees and even in rocks. This little plant provides the foundation for the marine food chain, feeding both microbial and animal plankton; zooplankton. Subtract algae and phytoplankton from the water column and fish, shellfish, reptiles and many other aquatic creatures could not survive.

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2019 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, a technology-based economic development program funded by the state of Utah, has awarded a $175,320 grant for...
Globally, an increase in water pollution is pushing scientists and environmental care specialists to seek best ways of preserving and maintaining sources of safe drinking...
“The Israeli food-tech industry has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years and is taking a leading role worldwide with a broad range of innovative companies and...
Foodbev.com reports that French marine ingredients company Algaia will install a new specialty seaweed extract unit at its facility in Brittany, France, after securing €4...
Hayley Dunning writes from the Imperial College of London that a new discovery has changed our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite t...
Amy Thompson writes in Space.com that SpaceX successfully launched its 15th Space Station cargo-resupply mission on Friday, June 29; carrying a payload of experiments des...
Alexander Richter writes in thinkgeoenergy.com that Israel-based Algaennovation last week signed a 15-year contract with Icelandic energy utility and operator ON Power fo...
Milenio.com reports that BiomiTech, a Mexican company, won a prestigious innovation award for its air purification system at the Contamination Expo Series 2018 held in Bi...
Cécile Barbière writes for Euractive.fr (translated by Rob Kirby) that, in large greenhouses formerly home to the tomatoes and cucumbers of the market gardening Groupe Ol...
Alexander Richter reports for Geothermal Energy News that, among the many examples offered during a recent conference in Pisa, Italy, on Perspectives and Impact of the Gr...
Mazda U.K. has announced that they are currently involved in joint research projects and studies as part of an ongoing industry-academia-government collaboration to promo...
AlgaEnergy, a Spanish biotechnology company specializing in the production and commercial applications of microalgae, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a leading provide...