Living Reference Work Entry

Handbook of the Protists

pp 1-20

Date: Latest Version

Chlorokybophyceae, Klebsormidiophyceae, Coleochaetophyceae

  • Martha E. CookAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University Email author 
  • , Linda E. GrahamAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison Email author 


The freshwater and terrestrial green algal lineages discussed in this chapter include the scaly flagellate Mesostigma, the sarcinoid form Chlorokybus, the unbranched filamentous members of the Klebsormidiophyceae, and the branched filamentous members of the Coleochaetophyceae. The lineages discussed here, together with two other green algal lineages (Charophyceae and Zygnematophyceae) and the land plants (embryophytes), form a monophyletic group known as Streptophyta or Charophyta. The streptophyte algae share cytological and biochemical characteristics with plants and may shed light on the evolution of plant features. Of special interest is the evolution of mechanisms associated with the transition from freshwater to dry land, a topic currently being energized by whole-genome analyses. Metagenomic studies of these organisms have revealed surprising features that might also have characterized the microbiomes of early streptophytes.


Charophycean algae Charophyte Chlorokybus Coleochaete Entransia Klebsormidium Mesostigma Plant evolution Streptophyte Terrestrial algae