Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel


  • Joachim Reitner
  • Volker Thiel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_233

Haptophytes (Haptophyta, Prymnesiophyta) are unicellular chlorophyll a and c containing algae with complex plastids derived from secondary endosymbiosis (“red lineage”) (see entry “ Symbiosis”). They occur principally as solitary free-living motile cells that possess two smooth flagella, unequal in length in the Pavlovophyceae and more or less equal in the Prymnesiophyceae. Haptophytes inhabit littoral, coastal, and oceanic waters and are important primary producers in many aquatic environments. Within the haptophytes, the so-called coccolithophores (coccolithophorids) evolved the ability to control the intracellular calcification onto organic plates and the assembly of the mature calcium carbonate (calcite) scales (coccoliths) at the cell surface. These forms have been significantly contributing to the deposition of calcium carbonate in marine waters since the Mesozoic, today accounting for about a third of the total marine CaCO3production. In modern and ancient sediments,...


Calcium Carbonate Surface Water Temperature Motile Cell Symbiosis Symbiosis Alga Eukaryotic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Reitner
    • 1
  • Volker Thiel
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GöttingenGöttingenGermany