In this article we will discuss about the thallus and cell structure of ectocarpus with the help of diagrams.
Thallus Structure of Ectocarpus:
The plant body is mostly typically heterotrichous and differentiated into (a) creeping or prostrates system and (b) projecting an erect system. In some species one of the two systems may be reduced. In epiphytic forms the prostrate system is well developed and the erect system is reduced.
In many species of Ectocarpus, the thallus is sparingly to profusely branched, the cells are uniseriate, joined end to end in a row. In some species, the older portions of the main branches are corticated by a layer of descending rhizoidal branches. In many species the terminal portion of a branch may end in a colourless hair with a basal meristem (Fig. 1A).
Cell Structure of Ectocarpus:
The cells are generally rectangular, uninucleate and the nucleus is placed in the region of the central vacuole, suspended by protoplasmic threads. The cell contains a few parietal band shaped chromatophores with irregular branches (E. siliculosus) or many disc shaped chromatophores (E. granulosus) (Fig. 1C). The chromatophores contain large amount of xanthophyll’s in addition to chlorophyll.
Fucosan vesicles or granules are present in large number along with pyrenoid like bodies in the cell. The reserve food material is in form of laminarin and mannitol. The cell wall is differentiated into two layers, the inner firm layer is made of cellulose and the outer gelatinous layer contains alginic acid.