Changing how we predict coral bleaching

A remote sensing algorithm offers better predictions of Red Sea coral bleaching and can be fine tuned for use in other tropical marine ecosystems.

Scientists unearth green treasure—albeit rusty—in the soil

Cornell University engineers have taken a step in understanding how iron in the soil may unlock naturally occurring phosphorus bound in organic matter, which can be used in fertilizer, so that one day farmers may be able ...

Harvesters of light

They fan out into lily-pad-shaped disks, branch haphazardly like the antlers of deer, and hold fast to the sea floor in squat little spheres. Corals come in many shapes and sizes—and this diversity in form is driven by ...

'Fishing a line' coupled with clockwork for daily rhythm

Organisms on this planet, including human beings, exhibit a biological rhythm that repeats about every 24 hours to adapt to the daily environmental alteration caused by the rotation of the earth. This circadian rhythm is ...

New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals

Symbiotic algae living inside corals provide those animals with their vibrant color, as well as many of the nutrients they need to survive. That algae, and other microbes within the bodies of corals, have been extensively ...

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Algae (pronounced /ˈældʒiː/; singular alga /ˈælɡə/, Latin for "seaweed") are a large and diverse group of simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms. The largest and most complex marine forms are called seaweeds. They are photosynthetic, like plants, and "simple" because they lack the many distinct organs found in land plants. For that reason they are currently excluded from being considered plants.

Though the prokaryotic Cyanobacteria (commonly referred to as Blue-green Algae) were traditionally included as "Algae" in older textbooks, many modern sources regard this as outdated and restrict the term Algae to eukaryotic organisms. All true algae therefore have a nucleus enclosed within a membrane and chloroplasts bound in one or more membranes. Algae constitute a paraphyletic and polyphyletic group, as they do not include all the descendants of the last universal ancestor nor do they all descend from a common algal ancestor, although their chloroplasts seem to have a single origin.

Algae lack the various structures that characterize land plants, such as phyllids and rhizoids in nonvascular plants, or leaves, roots, and other organs that are found in tracheophytes. Many are photoautotrophic, although some groups contain members that are mixotrophic, deriving energy both from photosynthesis and uptake of organic carbon either by osmotrophy, myzotrophy, or phagotrophy. Some unicellular species rely entirely on external energy sources and have limited or no photosynthetic apparatus.

Nearly all algae have photosynthetic machinery ultimately derived from the Cyanobacteria, and so produce oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis, unlike other photosynthetic bacteria such as purple and green sulfur bacteria. Fossilized filamentous algae from the Vindhya basin have been dating back to 1.6 to 1.7 billion years ago.

The first alga to have its genome sequenced was Cyanidioschyzon merolae.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA