Gelidium amansii is an economically important species of red algae commonly found and harvested in the shallow coast (3 to 10 meters or 10 to 33 feet of depth below the water) of many east Asian countries including North and South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, and northeast Taiwan. G. amansii is an important food source in East Asian countries and has been shown to have medicinal effects on dieting. This algae is used to make agar, whose components are the polysaccharide agarose and agaropectin, from the large amount of algin which is located in the algae's cell wall, as well it is sometimes served as part of a salad, puddings, jams, and other culinary dishes in producing regions. Agar is a gelatinous substance that is commercially used as an incubation matrix for microbials and other products that require an ecologically friendly gelatinous matrix. Gelidium amansii can be purple, red, to yellowish red because it contains the class of pigments known as anthocyanins instead of chlorophyll, which is commonly used by photosynthesizing organisms. Its branching body is cartilaginous and can grow up to a height of 8 to 30 centimeters or 3 to 12 inches. G. amansii may have 4 to 5 opposite compound lobed pinnate leaves on each branch. G. amansii is uniaxial with an apical cell and whorled cells coming from the axial towards the exterior of the algae. The pith is compacted with apical cells and the epidermis is formed by rounded whorled cells. G. amansii is being studied as a cheap biofuel.
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