Caption: Coralline red alga (geniculate / branched type) from Hawaii. This SEM image is of the mineralized calcium carbonate surface cell layer (epithelial layer) of a geniculate coralline alga (species unknown) from a Hawaiian marine environment. Coralline algae have a thallus that is either crustose (non-geniculate, rock-like) or branched (geniculate, tree-like). The thallus is hard because of calcareous (mineralized calcium carbonate) deposits contained within the cell walls. Geniculate coralline algae are branching, tree-like plants which are attached to the substratum by crustose or calcified, root-like holdfasts. The plants are flexible by having non-calcified regions (genicula) separate by longer calcified sections (intergenicula). The colors of these algae are typically pink (or some other shade of red), and some species can be purple, yellow, blue, or gray-green. Coralline algae are widespread in all of the world's oceans. Many are epiphytic or epizoic, and some are even parasitic on other coralline algae. Coralline algae play an important role in the ecology of coral reefs.
Magnification*: x800
Type: SEM
Copyright 2005 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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