Sea sac

  FHL Marine Botany  ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   Taxonomy | Habitat | Morphology | Life History | Ecology |An Edible Alga


Life History



These macroscopic Halosaccion individuals are either male gametophytes or tetrasporophytes. Photo taken at Botany Beach, Vancouver Island, B.C. 5/9/2009






The life history of Halosaccion glandiforme occurs in several stages.  The first stage involves a tetrasporangium, which produces two male spores and two female spores.  The female spores develop into a microscopic carpogonium while the male spores mature to look much like the tetrasporophyte.  This alga is distinct from the majority of red algae in that ithas no carposporophyte stage. Additionally, it has the distinctive trait that all macroscopic forms of the alga are either male gametophytes or are tetrasporophytes.

The male spores take about eight months to mature, so the females are fertilized by males from the preceding generation.  The spermatia from the male gametephytes are released in strands of mucus.  These strands fuse with the female gamete to complete fertilization, and the product is a new tetrasporophyte which takes about eight months to mature and start the process over again (Lee et al. 1979).



Lee, I.K., Makienko, V.F. & Kurogi, M. (1979). On the structure and reproductive organs of Halosaccion glandiforme. Japanese Journal of Phycology. 27: 25-30.