Remarks about Algal Chemistry

Russell G. Rhodes

Department of Biology

Missouri State University

Spring 2010


Algal pigments

Chlorophyll a- all algae have this pigment

Chlorophyll b- greens, euglenoids, and charophytes have this pigment

Chlorophyll c- chrysophytes, xanthophytes,  bacillariophytes, cryptophytes, reds, browns have this pigment

Phycocyanin- blue greens, cryptophytes, reds have this pigment

Phycoerythrin- blue greens, cryptophytes, reds have this pigment

Haematochrome- the pigment of eyespots in euglenoids, and other algae

Xanthophyll- brown algae, chrysophytes, xanthophytes, bacillariophytes have this pigment

Carotene- most algae have this pigment

Fucoxanthin- diatoms, finoflagellates and brown algae have this pigment

Peridinin- dinoflagellates have this pigment


Algal storage products




Floridian starch


Algal walls

Cellulose- green algae, some chrysophytes,  and reds


Calcium carbonate

Alginic acid- component in brown algae



Algal sheaths


Other algal attributes

Eyespots- haematochrome