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Leathesia difformis
Leathesia difformis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Chromista
Phylum: Ochrophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Subclass: Fucophycidae
Order: Ectocarpales
Setchell & N.L.Gardner

Ectocarpales is a very large order in the brown algae (class Phaeophyceae). The order includes families with pseudoparenchymatous (Splachnidiaceae) or true parenchymatous (Scytosiphonaceae) tissue. Pseudoparenchymatous refers to a filamentous alga with cells packed very close together to give an appearance of parenchymatous tissue, the latter being composed of cells which can truly divide in three dimensions, unusual among the algae. Filamentous algae are composed of cells that divide along a single plane, allowing only elongation to form filaments of one or more rows of cells. Algae that can divide in two planes can form sheet-like thalli or bodies. Cells that can divide in a third plane potentially allow for the organism to develop a more complex body plan, and diversification of body plans into an erect thallus of some sort and a holdfast for attaching the upright portion to the substrate.[1][2]

AlgaeBase uses the following families for this order:

AlgaeBase places Ralfsiaceae in its own order, the Ralfsiales, and Splachnidiaceae in the Scytothamnales.


  1. ^ Lee, R.E. (1999). Phycology (Third ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63883-8.
  2. ^ Guiry, M.D.; G.M. Guiry (2006). "AlgaeBase version 4.2". World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. Retrieved 2006-11-22.

Further reading[edit]

Clayton, M. N (1974). "STUDIES ON THE DEVELOPMENT LIFE HISTORY AND TAXONOMY OF THE ECTOCARPALES PHAEOPHYTA IN SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA". Australian Journal of Botany. 22 (4): 743–814. doi:10.1071/BT9740743.

External links[edit]