Porphyra-The Purple Algae

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Heather Carlson Life in the Oceans Assignment #2 April 2nd, 2011 Assignment #2 - Porphyra According to Websters dictionary, aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Today I will concentrate on the commercial farming of marine algae, specifially the species of Tyrian purple algae, or Porphyra. Porphyra, commonly know as nori, is the most widely consumed seaweed in the world. Porphyra is a foliose red algal genus of laver, comprising approximately 70 species. It grows in the intertidal zone, typically between the upper intertidal zone and the splash zone in cold waters of temperate oceans. In East Asia, it is used to produce the sea vegetable products nori (in Japan) and gim (in Korea), the most commonly eaten seaweed. There are considered to be 60 to 70 species of this species of algae worldwide, and seven in the British Isles. It is most commonly found in Asian food, especially Japanese food, which has lead to the huge “nori” industry in Japan. Porphyra has a very interesting heteromorphic life history. It incorporates just about everything you would want in an algal species. As far as the classification of Porphyra, it is broken down in the following way; kingdom: protista, division: rhodophyta, class: rhodophyceae subclass: bangiophycidae, order: Bangiales and finally, family: bangiacea. This alga attaches itself to the rocks by multicellular rhizoidal attachments, usually disc-shaped. The thalli begins its life as uniseriate filaments but this stage is eventually replaced by parenchymatous sheets of cells (1 to 2 cells thick). This is a result of intercalary cell divison or apical

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