Life Forms Based on Developmental Criteria

There are five basic developmental processes that dictate the manner in which algae achieve organized growth, that is, the degree to which cyto- and karyokinesis are synchronized, the extent to which cells remain joined together after cell division, whether cytoplasmic continuity is maintained after cell division, whether growth (cell division) is determinate or indeterminate, and the number and orientation of the planes of cell division that produce the multicellular plant body (Figure 1). These five developmental processes combine to generate only three major algal life-forms: unicellular, colonial, and multicellular (Table 1).

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