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Brown Algae Video Stock Footage
Between 1,500 and 2,000 species of brown algae are known worldwide. Some species, such as Ascophyllum nodosum, are important in commercial use because they have become subjects of extensive research in their own right. They have environmental significance as well, through carbon fixation. Brown algae belong to the group Heterokontophyta, a large group of eukaryotic organisms distinguished most prominently by having chloroplasts surrounded by four membranes, suggesting an origin from a symbiotic relationship between a basal eukaryote and another eukaryotic organism. Most brown algae contain the pigment fucoxanthin, which is responsible for the distinctive greenish-brown color that gives them their name. Brown algae are unique among heterokonts in developing into multicellular forms with differentiated tissues, but they reproduce by means of flagellated spores and gametes that closely resemble cells of other heterokonts. Genetic studies show their closest relatives to be the yellow-green algae.
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