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A Light- and Electron-Microscopic Survey of Algal Cell Walls. I. Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta

Clinton J. Dawes, Flora M. Scott and E. Bowler
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 48, No. 10 (Nov. - Dec., 1961), pp. 925-934
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2439535
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Light- and Electron-Microscopic Survey of Algal Cell Walls. I. Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta
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Abstract

An introductory survey of the structure of the cell walls of brown, red, and green algae, as seen under light and electron microscopes, has been completed. In the present paper (Part I) the structure of the thalli of the Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta is compared, and the occurrence of intercellular spaces, pitting, and microfibrillar patterns is discussed. A detailed comparison of the cell-wall structure and growth of a brown alga, Dictyota flabellata, and of a red alga, Helminthocladia californica, is also presented. In Dictyota, typical of the brown algae, the microfibrillar pattern in the apical cells and in the adjacent cells of the thallus tip is reticulate. In mature cells, the microfibrils are dominantly parallel in orientation. Pits, which are fields of closely set pores, are distinctive. The microfibrils in the pit areas are masked by non-fibrillar material. Helminthocladia, with a cell wall characteristic of the red algae, differs from Dictyota in that the microfibrillar pattern is reticulate at all ages of the cell and throughout the thallus. In the pit areas, the microfibrils are not masked by amorphous material. Pit connections, characteristic of the Florideae, can be divided into 2 major groups. Either the pit connection is an open channel between 2 adjacent cells, or it is composed of numerous plasmodesmata traversing a continuous, loose, microfibrillar wall. The techniques of the survey are emphasized in that fragmented cell walls were studied, and, also, chemically cleared material was constantly compared with fresh material under light and electron microscopes. It is concluded that the cell wall, as a taxonomic character, is of value only in delimiting the Phaeophyta and Rhodophyta.

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