The distribution of pyrenoids among some orders of the brown algae has been investigated with the electron microscope and a report on their occurrence is given, with particular reference to the results obtained with the light microscope by Simon (1954). Some illustrated detail of the structure of the pyrenoids and of the chromatophores is included.

Pyrenoids were found to be present in the representatives examined of the Ectocarpales, Sphacelariales, Scytosiphonales and Dictyosiphonales. Excepting the Sphacelariales, this is in agreement with the results of Simon. Pyrenoids were found to be definitely absent in all members of the Dictyotales and Laminariales examined, and disagreement is expressed with Bouck (1965) who reported their presence in Chorda filum, a member of the latter order. The situation in the Fucales is the subject of another communication elsewhere.

The presence or absence of pyrenoids is regarded as an additional taxonomic character of possible phyletic use when more is known. The results are discussed from the standpoint of their possible value in assessing the relative position of the Phaeophyceae as a whole. Brown algal lamellations are composed of three, or occasionally four, parallel thylakoids which do not cohere and are not aggregated into stacks. This is thought to be more primitive than the condition in some of the other groups of the Chromophyta where there is adherence of thylakoids into stacks of two or three members as, for example, in the Haptophyceae, Xanthophyceae and Chrysophyceae. The Phaeophyceae are, however, regarded as much less primitive than the Rhodophyceae, where the widely spaced parallel thylakoids are arranged singly.

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