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Kappaphycus alvarezii.jpg
Kappaphycus alvarezii
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Archaeplastida
Division: Rhodophyta
Class: Bangiophyceae
Order: Gigartinales
Family: Solieriaceae
Genus: Kappaphycus

about 6, see text

Kappaphycus is a genus of red algae. Species are distributed in the waters of East Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hainan Island, the Philippines, and Micronesia.[1]

Genus Kappaphycus is "morphologically plastic",[2] with few visible characters that can be used to separate the taxa, so distinguishing the species can be difficult. In addition, many commercial varieties have been bred. Molecular analyses can be used.[2][3][4]

In general, these algae have fleshy thalli that grow erect from one or more anchors. The longest individuals can exceed a meter in length. All species produce kappa-carrageenan.[1] Farming of this is a large business in the Philippines. Prof. Gavino Cajulao Trono Jr is a Filipino biologist dubbed the “Father of Kappaphycus farming”.[5]

Kappaphycus alvarezii is widely cultivated as a raw source of carrageenan, and other species are used, as well. Several Kappaphycus are invasive species.[6]

There are about 6 species:[1]


  1. ^ a b c Guiry, M. D. In: Guiry, M. D. & G. M. Guiry. 2013. Kappaphycus. AlgaeBase. National University of Ireland, Galway. Accessed 07 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Conklin, K. Y., et al. (2009). A molecular method for identification of the morphologically plastic invasive algal genera Eucheuma and Kappaphycus (Rhodophyta, Gigartinales) in Hawaii. Journal of Applied Phycology 21(6), 691-99.
  3. ^ Zuccarello, G. C., et al. (2006). Systematics and genetic variation in commercial Kappaphycus and Eucheuma (Solieriaceae, Rhodophyta). Journal of Applied Phycology 18(3-5) 643-51.
  4. ^ Tan, J., et al. (2012). Assessment of four molecular markers as potential DNA barcodes for red algae Kappaphycus Doty and Eucheuma J. Agardh (Solieriaceae, Rhodophyta). PLoS ONE, 7(12), e52905.
  5. ^ "Dr. Trono is the New National Scientist". Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ Conklin, E. J. and J. E. Smith. (2005). Abundance and spread of the invasive red algae, Kappaphycus spp., in Kane'ohe Bay, Hawai'i and an experimental assessment of management options. Biological Invasions 7(6), 1029-39.