What is Fucus?

Fucus is a brown algae genus that can be found in the intertidal zones of rocky seashores all over the world. Some species of Fucus are fucus crispus, fucus serratus etc. 

Just like fucus laminaria is another genus of brown seaweed in the order Laminariales(Kelp) that comprises 31 native species of the North Atlantic and northern pacific ocean.

Along with Fucus Kelps are also brown algae seaweeds that make up the order Laminariales which consists of 30 different genera. Kelp is a heterokont, not a plant, despite its appearance.

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Fucus Algae Classification

  • Clade: SAR

  • Phylum: Ochrophyta

  • Class: Phaeophyceae

  • Order: Fucales

  • Family: Fucaceae

  • Genus: Fucus

Fucus Algae Description and Life Cycle

Description:

  • With an uneven or disc-shaped holdfast or haptera, the thallus is perpetual. The thallus is dichotomous or sub-pinnately branched, flattened, and has a prominent midrib on the upright section. 

  • Some species have pairs of gas-filled pneumatocysts (air-vesicles), one on each side of the midrib. Cryptostomata and caecostomata are found on the thallus's erect part (sterile surface cavities). 

  • Because of abrasion of the tissue lateral to the midrib, the thallus' base is stipe-like, and it is held to the rock by a holdfast. 

  • In the apices of the terminal branches, the gametangia develop in conceptacles implanted in receptacles. It's possible that they're monoecious or dioecious.

Life Cycle:

  • These algae have a straightforward life cycle and only generate one type of thallus, which can reach a maximum size of 2 metres. 

  • The reproductive cells are contained in fertile holes called conceptacles, which are immersed in the receptacles toward the ends of the branches. 

  • Following meiosis, the female and male reproductive organs, oogonia and antheridia, generate egg cells and sperm, which are discharged into the water and fertilised. 

  • The zygote that results develops into a diploid plant.

  • This is in contrast to the flowering plant's life cycle, in which the egg cells and sperm are created by a haploid multicellular generation, though at a far reduced level, and the egg cells are fertilised within the parent plant's ovules before being released as seeds.

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About Alga Fucus Vesiculosus

Bladderwrack, black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack are all popular names for Fucus vesiculosus, a seaweed found along the coastlines of the North Sea, the western Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was the first source of iodine, discovered in 1811, and was widely used to treat goitre, a thyroid gland enlargement caused by a lack of iodine.

Classification: 

  • Clade: SAR

  • Phylum: Ochrophyta

  • Class: Phaeophyceae

  • Order: Fucales

  • Family: Fucaceae

  • Genus: Fucus

  • Species: F. vesiculosus

Vesiculosus Fucus Description: 

  • Fucus vesiculosus fronds reach 90 cm (35 in) in length and 2.5 cm (1.0 in) in width, with a pronounced midrib throughout.

  • A basal disc-shaped holdfast secures it. It features virtually spherical air bladders that are generally paired on either side of the mid-rib, but young plants may lack them. 

  • The frond is dichotomously branched and has a smooth edge. 

  • It's sometimes mistaken for Fucus spiralis, with which it hybridises, and it's related to Fucus serratus.

Life Cycle:

  • Fucus vesiculosus plants are dioecious.

  • In most cases, gametes are released into calm seawater, and the eggs are fertilised externally to generate a zygote. 

  • Shortly after being released from the container, the eggs are fertilised. 

  • Research on the Maine coast found that both exposed and protected areas had 100% fertilisation. In the Baltic Sea, populations that are constantly submerged are extremely susceptible to stormy conditions. 

  • Because the gametes are only released when water velocities are low, high fertilisation success is attained.

Uses and Adverse Effects: 

  • Fucus vesiculosus is marketed as a dietary supplement. 

  • Mucilage, algin, mannitol, fucitol, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, volatile oils, iodine, bromine, potassium, and other minerals are among the primary chemical ingredients.

  • Fucus vesiculosus consumption can produce platelet inhibition, which can increase the anticoagulant effect of warfarin (Coumadin). It is best to avoid it prior to surgery.

  • The iodine in Fucus vesiculosus may cause allergic reactions in certain persons.

Fucus Serratus

Fucus serratus, often known as toothed wrack or serrated wrack, is a North Atlantic seaweed.

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Classification:

  • Clade: SAR

  • Phylum: Ochrophyta

  • Class: Phaeophyceae

  • Order: Fucales

  • Family: Fucaceae

  • Genus: Fucus

  • Species: F. serratus

Description and Reproduction:

  • Fucus serratus is a strong alga that looks like Fucus vesiculosus and Fucus spiralis and is olive-brown in colour. 

  • It grows up to 180 centimetres (6 feet) long from a discoid holdfast. 

  • Flat, bifurcating, and up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) long, including a small stipe, the fronds are about 2 cm (0.8 in) wide, bifurcating, and up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) long. It has uneven and dichotomous branches. 

  • The flattened blade has a pronounced midrib and the serrated edge of the fronds distinguishes it from related taxa. 

  • It doesn't have air vesicles like Fucus vesiculosus, and it's also not spirally twisted like F. spiralis. 

  • Plants with male and female receptacles are found on separate plants. 

  • Cryptostomata — tiny cavities that produce colourless hyaluronic acid – can be seen on the lamina.

  • Conceptacles, which are submerged in receptacles near the branch terminals, form the reproductive bodies. 

  • Oogonia and antheridia are generated in these conceptacles, and after meiosis, the oogonia and antheridia are discharged. 

  • The zygote develops, settles, and grows immediately into the diploid sporophyte plant after fertilisation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Which Pigment is Responsible for the Brown Colour in Fucus?

Ans) Fucoxanthin, a pigment found in most brown algae, is responsible for the greenish-brown colour that gives them their name. Apart from this, Chlorophyll a and c are also present in Fucus.

2. Why are Algae Considered Plant-Like?

Ans) The primary reason for this is that they contain chloroplasts, which make food via photosynthesis. However, they lack many other plant-like structures. Algae, for example, have no roots, stems, or leaves.

3. Are All Alga Seaweeds?

Ans) Seaweeds are a type of algae with a few unique traits. For example, all seaweed species are autotrophic, whereas some algal species rely on other sources of nourishment. Algae can be found in both freshwater and marine environments, whereas seaweeds can only be found in seawater.