Coelarthrum opuntia   (Endlicher) Borgesen,  1937 (Algae)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Florideophyceae

Image copyrights: John Huisman

The plant is beaded in appearance with fronds having short, narrow and solid nodal regions which alternate with elongate, hollow and inflated mucilage-filled internodal regions. Cystocarps, spherical in shape, are embedded in the internodal regions. The plant is multiaxial and pseudoparenchymatous in construction with well differentiated cortical and medullary regions.

The plants of Coelarthrum opuntia are heavily infested with a variety of epiphytes. The tetrasporophytes, in particular, support abundant epiphytic growth. Among the epiphytes, diatoms such as Cocconeis scutellum and Cocconeis pellucida and Cyclotella stelligera are the most common. Apart from diatoms, epiphytic red algal species like Ceramium and Hypnea are also observed.

The plants are subjected to wounding because of heavy epiphytic load, herbivore-attack or wave action during high tide periods. In response to wounding, the plants exhibit wound healing and regeneration capacity. Wound response involves divisions in the cortical cells just below the wound site. Dome-shaped structures or multicellular mounds, with compactly arranged cells having polysaccharidic walls, are formed. A thick layer of extracellular mucilage, replete with carboxylated and sulphated polysaccharides, overarchs the wound sites. The formation of multicellular mounds seals the wound sites thereby preventing further issue damage or loss. After the formation of multicellular mounds, the medullary cells contribute towards the regeneration of new fronds. Regeneration capacity is higher near the apical regions and the regenerated fronds are identical to those of the parent thallus.

Synonym (s)
Chondria opuntia J. Agardh, 1841
(Heterotypic synonym)
Chrysymenia opuntia Endlicher, 1843
(Heterotypic synonym)
Gastroclonium opuntia (Endlicher) Kutzing, 1849
(Heterotypic synonym)
Lomentaria opuntia (Endlicher) J. Agardh, 1852
(Heterotypic synonym)
Lomentaria muelleri Sonder, 1853
(Heterotypic synonym)
Chylocladia muelleri (Sonder) Harvey, 1860
(Heterotypic synonym)
Lomentaria valida Kutzing, 1865
(Heterotypic synonym)
Chylocladia valida (Kutzing) J. Agardh, 1890
(Heterotypic synonym)
Sedoidea opuntia (Endlicher) Kuntze, 1891
(Heterotypic synonym)
Erythrocolon muelleri (Sonder) De Toni, 1900
(Heterotypic synonym)
Coelarthrum muelleri (Sonder) Borgesen, 1931
(Heterotypic synonym)
Coelarthrum opuntia (Endlicher) Kuntze, 1891

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Coastal


• Tamil Nadu, Krusadai Island, Galaxea reef INDIA (Record: 1940-1950)
• Gujarat, Okha Coast INDIA (Record: 1994-1997)
• Tamil Nadu, Kilakarai-Dhanushkodi INDIA (Record: 12/1990-01/1991)
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pamban INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin INDIA
• Gujarat, Okha INDIA
• Gujarat, Dwarka INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Krishnamurthy, V (2008) The algal flora of Krusadai Island- It's past status and present decay Proceedings of the national symposium on marine and coastal ecosystems 27-29, August 2007. Seaweed Research and Utilisation Seaweed Research and Utilisation Association, Marine Fisheries-623 520, Tamil Nadu, India 30 13-17 Available at - NIO Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2006) Algaebase Available at -
  • Ram, M; Vijayaraghavan, MR and Babbar, SB (2000) Wound-response and regeneration in Coelarthrum opuntia (Endlicher) Boergesen Seaweed Research and Utilisation Seaweed Research and Utilisation Association, Tamil Nadu 22 (1 & 2) 45-50 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Silva, PC; Basson, PW and Moe, RL (1996) Catalogue of the benthic marine algae of the Indian Ocean University of California Press 79 1259 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Kaliaperumal, N; Chennubhotla, VSK; Kalimuthu, S; Ramalingam, JR; Pillai, SK; Muniyandi, K; Rao, KR; Rao, PVS; Thomas, PC; Zaidi, SH and Subbaramaiah, K (1998) Seaweed resources and distribution in deep waters from Dhanushkodi to Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu Seaweed Research and Utilisation Seaweed Research and Utilisation Association, Tamil Nadu, India 20(1&2) 141-151 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sundaram, KS; Sarvesan, R; Mohamed, KH and Shanbhogue, SL (1969) Catalogue of molluscs, prawns, stomatopods and marine algae in the reference collections of the central marine fisheries research institute Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 9 1-52 Available at -
  • Sahoo, D; Nivedita and Debasish (2001) Seaweeds of Indian coast S. B. Nangia, A. P. H. Publishing Corporation, New Delhi 283 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • James, PSBR (1987) Distribution of the important Indian marine algae Seaweed research and utilization in India Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 41 100-111 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-06-22

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