"Siphoneae" from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur, 1904
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Viridiplantae
Division: Chlorophyta
Reichenbach, 1834; Pascher[1][2]
Green algae on coastal rocks at Shihtiping in Taiwan

Chlorophyta is a division of green algae, informally called chlorophytes. The name is used in two very different senses so that care is needed to determine the use by a particular author. In older classification systems, it refers to a highly paraphyletic group of all the green algae within the green plants (Viridiplantae), and thus includes about 7,000 species[4][5] of mostly aquatic photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. Like the land plants (bryophytes and tracheophytes), green algae contain chlorophylls a and b, and store food as starch[4] in their plastids.

In newer classifications, it refers to one of the two clades making up the Viridiplantae, which are the chlorophytes and the streptophytes or charophytes.[6][7] In this sense it includes only about 4,300 species.[3]


A possible classification when Chlorophyta refers to one of the two clades of the Viridiplantae is shown below.[citation needed]

Classification of the Chlorophyta, treated as all green algae, according to Hoek, Mann and Jahns 1995.[4]

  • Prasinophyceae
  • Chlorophyceae
  • Ulvophyceae
  • Cladophorophyceae
  • Bryopsidophyceae
  • Dasycladophyceae
  • Trentepoliophyceae
  • Pleurastrophyceae (Pleurastrales and Prasiolales)
  • Klebsormidiophyceae
  • Zygnematophyceae
  • Charophyceae

Classification of the Chlorophyta (treated as what is now considered one of the two clades of the Viridiplantae) according to Bold and Wynne 1985.[8]


  1. ^ Pascher A (1914). "Über Flagellaten und Algen". Berichte der deutsche botanischen Gesellschaft 32: 136–160. 
  2. ^ Adl SM, Simpson AGB, Farmer MA, Andersen RA, Anderson OR, Barta JR, Bowser SS, Brugerolle G, Fensome RA, Fredericq S, James TY, Karpov S, Kugrens P, Krug J, Lane CE, Lewis LA, Lodge J, Lynn DH, Mann DG, McCourt RM, Mendoza L, Moestrup Ø, Mozley-Standridge SE, Nerad TA, Shearer CA, Smirnov AV, Speigel FW, Taylor MFJR (2005). "The new higher level classification of eukaryotes with emphasis on the taxonomy of protists". Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 52 (5): 399–451. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2005.00053.x. PMID 16248873. 
  3. ^ a b Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. (2011). AlgaeBase : Chlorophyta. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. Retrieved 2011-07-26 
  4. ^ a b c Hoek, C. van den, Mann, D.G. and Jahns, H.M. 1995. Algae An Introduction to Phycology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-30419-9
  5. ^ "Major Algae Phyla - Table - MSN Encarta". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. 
  6. ^ Lewis, Louise A. & McCourt, R.M. (2004). "Green algae and the origin of land plants". Am. J. Bot. 91 (10): 1535–1556. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1535. PMID 21652308 
  7. ^ Becker, B. & Marin, B. (2009). "Streptophyte algae and the origin of embryophytes". Annals of Botany 103 (7): 999–1004. doi:10.1093/aob/mcp044. PMC 2707909. PMID 19273476. 
  8. ^ Bold, H.C. & Wynne, M.J. (1985). Introduction to the algae : structure and reproduction (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-477746-7 

Further reading

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