Biological interactions during the life history of seaweed: a microscopic review
Access this Article
Search this Article
Seaweed is important for human beings as food. From an ecological viewpoint, it also occupies a substantial position as the primary producer in the marine food chain and as a nursery for many marine animals. Fundamental biological features are in great diversity in seaweed. The composition of photosynthetic pigments is distinct among three major groups of seaweed; green, brown and red algae. There is also a wide range of life history patterns including the isomorphic and heteromorphic alternation of haploid gametophyte/diploid sporophyte found in all groups of seaweed.In order to understand how seaweed vegetation is constructed, it is important to know how the algae live in the seashore environment, coexisting with a variety of other organisms. In this talk, I present interesting examples of research concerning the biological interactions occurring at the cell-to-cell level in three consecutive stages of the life history of seaweed: (1) spore attachment and germination, (2) vegetative growth and morphogenesis, and (3) sexual reproduction. Topics include several earlier and recent studies, for example, the inhibition of spore attachment by medium conditioned with parent thallus, trace morphogenetic substance inducing single-layer, blade-like thallus in the green alga Monostroma, and physiological mechanisms that support the sexual recognition of gametes during fertilization in the external environment.
- Kuroshio Science
Kuroshio Science 2(1), 35-40, 2008-03