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Chapter Summary

Desmids belong to the green algae, in particular to a group that is characterized by conjugation as way of sexual reproduction. Within this group of conjugatophycean algae two subgroups are distinguished. They are a group of multicellular, filamentous forms and a group of unicellular forms. Based on cell wall structure, desmids are taxonomically split up into placoderm desmids and saccoderm desmids. Current classification of the desmids is primarily based on cell wall structures that often are only visible with the help of an electron microscope. The main characteristic of desmids is their specific method of sexual reproduction. However, also the morphology of the vegetative cell is peculiar, for marked by a symmetrical appearance which distinguishes them from other algal groups. The area of the cell where the semicells are mutually connected is called the 'isthmus'.

Keywords: cell wall structures; conjugatophycean algae; placoderm desmids; saccoderm desmids



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