Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRev

Biology Class 11

NEET : Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRev

The document Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRev is a part of the NEET Course Biology Class 11.
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Plant Kingdom

All the multicellular eukaryotic plants are placed in Kingdom Plantae. They are autotrophic, i.e. they manufacture their food by photosynthesis.

Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevKingdom-Plantae

Following plant, groups are included in Kingdom-Plantae:

  • Algae
  • Bryophyta
  • Pteridophyta
  • Gymnosperm
  • Angiosperm 

Question 1:Amongst plants which one of the following group has been classified on the basis of pigments


  • Algae are chlorophyll-bearing, simple, thalloid, autotrophic, and largely aquatic plants.
  • The term "Algae" was given by Linnaeus.
  • Phycology- Study of algae
  • Father of Phycology- Fritsch → Book → "Structure & Reproduction of algae" 
  • Father of Indian phycology- Mandayam Osuri Parthasarathy Iyengar.

Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevAlgae

➢ Nature

  • Algae are found in both fresh and marine water.
  • Algae are found in many forms like filamentous, colonial.
  • Algae are surrounded by a mucilaginous sheath, and below the sheath, the cell wall is present which is made up of cellulose and pectin but mainly made up of cellulose, Galatians, mannans, and mineral-like calcium carbonate.
  • On the basis of structure, algae are thalloid, i.e. plant body is not differentiated into root, stem, and leaves. The tissue system is also absent in algae.
  • On the basis of nutrition, algae are photoautotrophic. They have chloroplast in which photosynthetic pigments are present. Classification of algae is mainly based on pigments. Chl-a and b carotene are universal pigments of algae.

Question 2:These questions consist of two statements, each printed as Assertion and Reason. While answering these questions, you are required to choose any one of the following five responses.

Assertion: Algae and fungi are classified as thallophytes.
Reason: They both are autotrophs.


Vegetative Reproduction

  • By fragmentation, where each fragment develops into a thallus.

Asexual Reproduction

  • By the production of flagellated zoospores which on germination give rise to new plants.

Sexual Reproduction

  • The male sex organ is called antheridium, and the female is called oogonium. The sex organs of algae are unicellular & jacketless. But exceptionally sex organs of green algae Chara (Chara- green algae- known as stonewort) are multi-cellular and jacketed.
  • The male sex organ of Chara is known as globule, and the female is known as nucule.
  • The plant body of algae is haploid, so sexual reproduction takes place through zygotic meiosis. So their life cycle is haplontic. But exceptionally brown algae are diploid so that sexual reproduction takes place through gametic meiosis in them. So their life cycle is Diplo haplontic.
  • Algae reproduce by zygotic meiosis, i.e. first division in the zygote is meiosis so, the embryo is not formed.

Sexual reproduction is of three types:

  • Isogamous: Chlamydomonas Debaryanum, Ulothrix, Ectocarpus 
  • Anisogamous: Chlamydomonas Braunii 
  • Oogamous: Chlamydomonas Coccifera, Sargassum, Volvox, Fucus 


  • Chlamydomonas exhibits complete evolution of sexual reproduction.
    Isogamous- Simplest, Oogamous- Advanced.
  • Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevChlamydomonas
  • Ulothrix exhibits the origin of sexual reproduction. The classification of algae is mainly based on the photosynthetic pigments. In addition to this, cell wall composition and stored food are also the basis of classification.

Algae Is Divided into Following Divisions

  • Chlorophyta: Green Algae
  • Phaeophyta: Brown Algae

Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevBrown Algae

  • Xanthophyta: Yellow-Green Algae

Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevYellow Algae

  • Rhodophyta: Red Algae
    Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevRed Algae

Question 3:Each of these questions contains an Assertion followed by Reason. Read them carefully and answer the question on the basis of following options. You have to select the one that best describes the two statements.

Assertion: Red algae contributes in producing coral reefs.
Reason: Some red algae secrete and deposit calcium carbonate over their walls.

Chlorophyta (Green Algae)

  • Green algae are the most advanced algae. It is believed that green algae are the ancestors of the higher plants.
  • Habitat: Green algae are cosmopolitan in nature.

Different forms of Green algae (Structure). Green algae are found in many forms:

  • unicellular organism, also known as a single-celled organism, is an organism that consists of only one cell, unlike a multicellular organism that consists of more than one cell.

Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevUnicellular Organism

  • Chlamydomonas: Motile unicellular algae. This alga moves with the help of flagella.
  • Chlorella: Non-motile unicellular alga. Calvin discovered the "Calvin Cycle" by experimenting with Chlorella.

Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevChlorella Unicellular Alga

  • Acetabularia: Umbrella plant - It is the largest unicellular plant. The diameter of its cell is 10 cm. Hammerling experimented on Acetabularia.
    Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevAcetabularia Umbrella Plant

Coenocytic: Some green algae are coenocytic, i.e. multi-nucleated. 

  • Example: Caulerpa

Note: According to five kingdom system the algae described above should be placed in Protista but exceptionally due to their life cycle, it is similar to green algae. They are placed in Plantae. But now modern scientist place above algae in protista.

Algae: Characteristics and Examples NEET Notes | EduRevCoenocytic


  • Some green algae are found in colonies. They form a colony of cells. The number of cells in a colony is fixed. A colony with a fixed number of cells is called coenobium.
    Example: Volvox- Motile colony Hydrodictyon- Non-motile colony (called a water net).

 Multicellular Filamentous

  • Mostly algae are multi-cellular filamentous.
    Example: Ulothrix- Known as pond wool, Spirogyra- Known as pond silk.

Some green algae are heterotrichous i.e. two types of branches, prostrate and erect- Fritschiella, Stigeoclonium, Coleochaete (Fritschiella tuberosa has approach to the early land plants).

 Multicellular Thalloid or Parenchymatous

  • Some algae are multi-cellular in length & width.
    Example: Ulva- also called sea lettuce.

 Photosynthetic Pigments

  • Chlorophyll- Chl 'a' and Chl 'b'
  • Carotene- b carotene
  • Xanthophyll- Luteaxanthin and Violoxanthin- Yellow-colored

Note: The green colour of green algae is due to chlorophyll.

  • Stored food: In green algae, the food is stored in the form of starch. 

Note: On the basis of pigments (Chl 'a', Chl 'b', Carotenoids), stored food (starch) & cell wall (made up of cellulose or pectin), green algae are considered similar to higher plants.

Question 4:Which of the following is found in algal zone of Cycas coralloid roots 

Economic Importance

  • Food: Chlorella is used as food, because after Spirulina, Chlorella has the largest amount of protein.
  • Antibiotics: Chlorellin antibiotic is obtained from Chlorella.
  • Space research: In space, Chlorella is used as a source of food and O2.
  • Parasitic algae: Cephaleuros algae remains parasitically in the leaves of the tea plants and causes the disease 'red rust'.
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