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Kingdom Chromalveolates

Chromalveolates are organisms that descended from an endosymbiosis event between a bikont (organism with 2 flagella) and a red alga, which became the ancestor of chlorophyll c plastids.

Kingdom Chromalveolata
        Phylum Heterokontophyta - Heterokonts/Stramenopiles
            Class Oomycota - Water Molds
            Class Bacillariophyceae - Diatoms
            Class Phaeophyceae - Brown algae
    Superphylum Alveolata
        Phylum Dinophyceae - Dinoflagellates

Questions for Thought:
  • Why is the term "protist" not very useful for evolutionary studies?
  • What is the synapomorphy of the chromalveolates? ... of the heterokonts?
  • What life cycle (i.e. haplontic, diplontic, haplo-diplontic) does each group exhibit?
  • The brown algae are not closely related to land plants, but what aspect of their life cycle made past researchers assume an ancestor-descendant relationship?
  • How have the water molds impacted plants and human history?
  • Why are the diatoms so ecologically significant?
  • Why are dinoflagellates so ecologically significant?
  • What ecological niche(s) do the brown algae occupy?
  • How is the red algae life cycle similar to plants?
  • Why are the green algae considered the closest living relatives to the land plants?
Supporting websites:

Subpages (2): Alveolates Heterokonts