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Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany




  • abaxial - situated away from main axis, often on underside of branch
  • abciss - detach, separate from main structure
  • accessory - subsidiary, like a non-chlorophyll pigment
  • acropetal - from the base to the apex
  • aculeate - bearing a sharp point
  • acute - sharply pointed
  • adaxial - situated toward the axis, often on the upper side of branch
  • adherent - closely attached
  • adventitious - irregular, secondarily produced, not a primary part
  • akaryotic - without a true nucleus
  • akinete - enlarged cell with food reserves and thick cell wall which may undergo dormancy, e.g. in Cyanobacteria
  • alginate - salt form of alginic acid, a polysaccharide colloid produced in walls of Phaeophyceae made of mannuronic acid and guluronic acid units
  • alloparasite - parasite not related to its host
  • alternate - branched at different levels on opposite sides of main axis
  • amorphous - lacking definite structure or shape
  • amyloplast - colorless organelle related to starch production
  • anaerobic - living without free oxygen, in a reducing atmosphere
  • anisogamy - reproduction by motile gametes that differ in morphology or behavor
  • anterior - in front, or toward the front
  • antheridium - cell that produces motile male gamete
  • apical - at or near the apex or top, distal
  • apogamy - development of an organism without gamete fusion (fertilization)
  • apomeiosis - nuclear division without meiosis
  • arcuate - curved like a bow, crescent-shaped
  • articulated - jointed or segmented, e.g. Calliarthron or Halimeda
  • autotrophic - capable of producing its own food
  • auxiliary cell - cell in post-fertilization development in the Rhodophyta which receives the diploid (2N) zygote nucleus and then develops the gonimoblast filaments
  • auxospore
  • axis - main stem or central line of development on which secondary or side branches are borne


Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009