Valonia ventricosa

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Valonia ventricosa
Ventricaria ventricosa.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Chlorophyta
Class: Chlorophyceae
Order: Siphonocladales
Family: Valoniaceae
Genus: Valonia
Species: V. ventricosa
Binomial name
Valonia ventricosa
J.Agardh 1887[1]

Ventricaria ventricosa

Valonia ventricosa, also known as "bubble algae" and "sailors' eyeballs",[2] is a species of algae found in oceans throughout the world in tropical and subtropical regions. It is arguably the largest single-cell organism.[2][3]

Valonia ventricosa in the Red Sea


Valonia ventricosa typically grow individually, but in rare cases they can grow in groups.


They appear in tidal zones of tropical and subtropical areas, like the Caribbean, north through Florida, south to Brazil, and in the Indo-Pacific.[2] Overall, they inhabit virtually every ocean throughout the world,[4] often living in coral rubble.[5] The farthest depth for viability has been seen as approximately 80 metres (260 ft).

Physiology and reproduction[edit]

The single-cell organism has forms ranging from spherical to ovoid, and the color varies from grass green to dark green, although in water they may appear to be silver, teal, or even blackish.[2] This is determined by the quantity of chloroplasts of the specimen.[5] The surface of the cell shines like glass. The thallus consists of a thin-walled, tough, multinucleic cell with a diameter that ranges typically from 1 to 4 centimetres (0.39 to 1.57 in) although it may achieve a diameter of up to 5.1 centimetres (2.0 in) in rarer cases. The "bubble" alga is attached by rhizoids to the substrate fibers.[2]

Reproduction occurs by segregative cell division, where the multinucleic mother cell makes daughter cells, and individual rhizoids form new bubbles, which become separate from the mother cell.


Valonia ventricosa has been studied for its many interesting properties,[2][6] such as the fact that the pores of V. ventricosa are absent of water. A study was conducted that showed that the properties of permeability in both osmosis and diffusion were identical.[7] In studying the cellulose lattice, and its orientation in biological structures, Valonia ventricosa has undergone extensive X-ray analytical procedures.[8] It has also been studied for its electrical properties, due to its unusually high electrical potential relative to the seawater that surrounds it.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Valonia ventricosa J. Agardh". ITIS. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bauer, Becky (October 2008). "Gazing Balls in the Sea". All at Sea. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  3. ^ John Wesley Tunnell, Ernesto A. Chávez, Kim Withers (2007). Coral reefs of the southern Gulf of Mexico. Texas A&M University Press. p. 91. ISBN 1-58544-617-3. 
  4. ^ Overview Occurrence, Valonia ventricosa, GBIF, accessed 27 August 2010
  5. ^ a b Lee, Robert Edward (2008). "Siphonoclades". Phycology. Cambridge University Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-521-68277-0. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Thellier, M. (1977). Échanges ioniques transmembranaires chez les végétaux. Publication Univ Rouen Havre. p. 341. ISBN 978-2-222-02021-9. 
  7. ^ Gutknecht, John. "Membranes of Valonia ventricosa: Apparent Absence of Water-Filled Pores". Science Magazine. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  8. ^ Astbury, W.T; Marwick, T. C.; Bernal, J. D. (1932). "X-Ray Analysis of the Structure of the Wall of Valonia ventricosa.--I". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B 109 (764): 443. doi:10.1098/rspb.1932.0005. 

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