symbiotic algaemedical dictionary

<plant biology> Algae (often Chlorella spp) that live intracellularly in animal cells (e.g. Endoderm of Hydra viridis).

The relationship is complex, because lysosomes do not fuse with the vacuoles containing the algae and the growth rates of both cells are regulated to maintain the symbiosis. There is considerable strain specificity.

The term is imprecise, since there are many other symbiotic algae (as in lichens) where the relationship is different.

(19 Jan 1998)

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