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The class name Tribophyceae has succeeded Xanthophyceae to correspond to type genus Tribonema, instead of the color yellow (xantho-)(Hibberd 1981).  Previously the few known taxa were placed in the Chlorophyceae because of their frequently green color.

The class Tribophyceae currently includes ~ 100 genera and 600 species (Johnson 2011).  They contain chlorophylls a and small amounts of c1 and c2 in discoid chloroplasts.   The principal accessory pigments include the blue-absorbing yellow pigments B-carotene, vaucheriaxanthin, diadinoxanthin, and heteroxanthin (van den Hoek et al. 1995).

As members of the heterokonts – protists with two dissimilar flagella – the Tribophyceae produce the polysaccharide chrysolaminaran (but not starch), soluble in aqueous solution, and stored in vacuoles.



Hibberd, D.J.  1981.  Notes on the taxonomy and nomenclature of the algal classes Eustigmatophyceae and Tribophyceae (synonym Xanthophyceae).  Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 82:91-113.

Johnson, L.  2011.  Phylum Xanthophyta (Tribophyta)(Yellow-Green Algae). In: The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles, 2nd edition. John, D.M., B.A. Whitton, and A.J. Brook, Eds. (878 pp).

van den Hoek, C., D.G. Mann, and H.M. Jahns  1995.  Algae – An Introduction to Phycology.  Cambridge University Press  (623 pp.)