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The practice of classifying organisms based on shared characteristics is known as biological classification. The two kingdoms of classification were proposed by Linnaeus. He divided organisms into two kingdoms: the animal world (Animalia) and the plant kingdom (Plantae). The two kingdom classification had some drawbacks, such as the inability to distinguish between eukaryotes and prokaryotes, unicellular and multicellular species, and photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organisms. As a result, this field underwent further development, with R.H. Whittaker’s Five Kingdom classification serving as the primary example. 


Chrysophytes are protists that resemble plants and are typically found in freshwater and marine habitats with low calcium. Diatoms (Bacillariophyta), Golden-brown algae (Chrysophyceae), and Yellow-green algae are the three main categories of chrysophytes (Xanthophyceae). While the majority of chrysophytes are unicellular and free-swimming, others, like the dinobryon shown above, group together and form colonies. Chrysophytes have approximately 1000 identified species, yet due to their diversity, none of them shares a single-cell structure. While some species are amoeboid without any cell walls, others have cellulose cell walls that are reinforced by silica compounds.

Characteristics of Chrysophytes

  • Two contrasting flagella.
  • The Colour of golden yellow is caused by auxiliary pigment.
  • Silica and cellulose are used to make cell walls.
  • Adrift swimming.
  • Unicellular.
  • Present in bodies of water with the low calcium content.
  • Diatoms and golden algae both are present in fresh water and salt water.
  • Chrysophytes are photosynthetic. 

Cell Structure and Metabolism

There is no common cell structure among the various species that make up the phylum Chrysophyta. While some amoeboid cells lack cell walls, others have cell walls that are primarily made of cellulose and contain significant amounts of silica. There may be one or two flagella present; if there are two, they might or might not be identical. While chrysophytes frequently reproduce through cell division, diatoms can reproduce sexually. Chrysophyta members typically engage in photosynthetic growth, although some-particularly the golden algae-become heterotrophic in conditions of little light or abundant dissolved food. 

Chrysophyte Reproduction

  • In chrysophytes, reproduction happens by cell division.
  • Chrysophytes generate spores and reproduce asexually.
  • The spores move around and have flagella. as well known as zoospores.
  • Flagella are only present during reproduction in chrysophytes.
  • Just diatoms exhibit sexual reproduction
  • Chrysophyta members typically engage in photosynthetic growth, although some-particularly the golden algae-become heterotrophic in conditions of little light or abundant dissolved food.

Impact on People and Place in the food chain

  • Since Chrysophyta is a group of algae, Euglenophyta, Pyrrophyta, Chlorophyta, Rhodophyta, Phaeophyta, and Xanthophyta are their six closest relatives.
  • Diatoms and Chrysophyceae, which are the primary producers of plankton and nanoplankton, form the basis of the marine food web.
  • It is possible to view chrysophytes as beneficial to people. We utilize them in filters, cleaning solutions, and toothpaste.
  • They also contribute a significant amount of oxygen to the environment as autotrophs.
  • Chrysophytes can also be utilized to produce biofuel because they store their food as oils.
  • Due to their small size, diatoms are very successful in the synthesis of biofuel. 

Nutrition of  Crysophytes

They consume food in a heterotrophic manner. Dinoflagellates – These algae belong to the phylum Pyrrophyta and, like diatoms, they are autotrophic nutritionists. As saprophytes, chysophytes are not. They are mostly photosynthesis-based creatures. These creatures are referred to as following the autotrophic method of nutrition since they are able to produce their own nourishment.

Various aspects of nutrition in the chrysophytes.The evidence for the ratio of the main nutrients present in chrysophytes growing at their maximum specific growth rates, their qualitative distribution among various molecular species, and the mechanism by which these molecular species are synthesized from such typical intracellular substrates as hexose, ammonium, and phosphate are the first things we take into consideration.

Diversity of Chrysophytes

The Stramenopiles subclass of protists known as Chrysophytes is varied. They include a wide variety of morphological forms and dietary techniques (phototrophy, mixotrophy, and heterotrophy) (unicellular, colonial, branched, non-scaled to silica-scaled). However, the polyphyletic origin of some morphotypes and the low resolution of morphological traits make it difficult to identify genera and species and delineate them.


Both freshwater and marine habitats have Chrysophyta members. The diatoms and the golden-brown algae, which are a component of the plankton and nanoplankton that form the base of the aquatic food chain, are of the greatest ecological significance. Depending on the class to which they belong, these creatures are distributed differently. They are typically found in freshwater ponds and lakes, are neutral or slightly acidic, frequently fairly humic, and have some fertilizer additions. Many of them consume bacteria and tiny algae because they are mixotrophic. They exist in every climate.

Classification of Chrysophytes

It has classified into three groups, diatoms (Bacillariophyceae), golden-brown algae (Chrysophyceae), and yellow-green algae (Xanthophyceae).

  • Diatoms: Diatoms are the members of the division bacillariophyte. Diatoms intend to split in half. The two-part cell wall of diatoms is the inspiration for the name of these organisms. Diatoms are members of the Protista kingdom. This kingdom contains the following types of living things: dinoflagellates, diatoms, euglenoids, slime molds, and protozoans.
    This kingdom only contains eukaryotic, unicellular species that have these characteristics.
  • Golden brown algae: Golden algae, also referred to as golden-brown algae, is a group of roughly 33 genera and 1,200 species of algae (division Chlorophyta) that can be found in both fresh and salt water. Golden alga is a member of the class Chrysophyceae. The group has a somewhat varied morphology, and its taxonomy is up for debate. Most golden algae are biflagellates, single cells with two different flagella. They can be identified by the pigment fucoxanthin and the use of food reserves made of oil droplets. Many are protected by a silica cyst called a statocyst, also called a statospore, whose ornamentation can be used to distinguish between species. Rarely does sexual reproduction occur? It is possible for organisms to reproduce asexually by producing both motile and nonmotile spores as well as yellow-brown algae: an important family of heterokont algae is the Xanthophyceae (also known as xanthophytes), or yellow-green algae. However, some can be found in ecosystems on land and in the ocean. They range from filamentous and basic colonial forms to single-celled flagellates.

Significance of Chrysophytes

  • Chrysophytes are autotrophs that produce a large amount of oxygen by photosynthesis. 
  • Chysophytes are also useful, Diatomaceous earth is used to filter and polish oils. As a biofuel. 
  • They are particularly important in lakes, where they may serve as the zooplankton’s main food source.
  • It decomposes dead stuff and distributes these nutrients to another part of the water body. 
  • It supports the maintenance of biodiversity. 
  • Chrysophytes produce oils or the polysaccharide laminarin as a food storage product.

FAQs on Chrysophytes

Question 1: Where we can find chrysophytes?


Chrysophytes are phytoplanktons or protists that resemble plants, and they can be found in freshwater and marine habitats that frequently have low calcium levels.

Question 2: What are the three types of chrysophytes?


There are three main types of chrysophytes: diatoms (Bacillariophyceae), golden-brown algae (Chrysophyceae), and yellow-green algae (Xanthophyceae).

Question 3: Are flagella present in chrysophytes?


Yes, the majority of chrysophytes have two distinct flagella. 

Question 4: Are Chrysophyta plants like?


Protista is a kingdom in the outdated five-kingdom system of taxonomy that includes organisms that resemble animals (protozoa), plants (algae), and fungi (slime moulds and water moulds).

Question 5: How do chrysophytes reproduce?


Common methods of chrysophyte reproduction include cell division, zoospores, and statospores. Despite being uncommon, sexual reproduction has been documented and is isogamous. The separation Most experts agree that Chrysophyceae and Haptophyceae are the two classes that makeup Chrysophyta. 

Question 6: What are the uses of chrysophytes?


Since they store food as oil, chrysophytes are utilized as biofuel. Since chrysophytes leave behind silica-rich shells after they die, toothpaste prepared from them is silica-rich.

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Last Updated : 01 Dec, 2022
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