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Chara fragilis
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Archaeplastida
(unranked): Viridiplantae
Division: Charophyta
(unranked): Streptophyta
Class: Charophyceae
Smith, 1938
  • Characeae Rabenhorst, 1863[1]

Charophyceae is a class (biology) of charophyte green algae. Some botanists include Charophyceae and chlorophyte green algae in the plant kingdom. [2] Charophyceae are a class within the Streptophyta.[3][4][5] Current consensus treats Charophyceae as a class under division Charophyta, with Chlorophyta remaining a distinct division.[6]

Many of the complex traits related to sexual reproduction, photosynthesis, and other defining characteristics of plants evolved first in Streptophytes; analysis of cpDNA (chloroplast DNA), for instance, reveals that many characteristics of plant chloroplasts evolved first in the Streptophyte genera Staurastrum and Zygnema.[2][7]


  1. ^ Rabenhorst, L. (1863). Kryptogamen-flora von Sachsen, pp. xiv, 282, 'Characeae'.
  2. ^ a b Campbell, N. A. & Reece, J. B. 2005. Biology, Seventh Edition. Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco.
  3. ^ Hoek, C. van den, Mann, D. G. & Jahns, H. M. 1995. Algae: An Introduction to Phycology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-30419-9
  4. ^ Streptophytina
  5. ^ McCourt, R. M., Chapman, R. L., Buchheim, M. & Mishler, B. D. “Green Plants”. Accessed 13 December 2007
  6. ^ Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2007. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 13 December 2007
  7. ^ Turmel, M., Otis, C. & Lemieux, C. 2005. The Complete Chloroplast DNA Sequences of the Charophycean Green Algae Staurastrum and Zygnema Reveal that the Chloroplast Genome Underwent Extensive Changes During the Evolution of the Zygnematales. BMC Biology 3:22