Coleochaete is a small genus of filamentous or parenchymatous green algae. The ca. five species occur commonly in freshwater environments worldwide, where they usually are found as epiphytes on aquatic plants. Coleochaete, and the allied genus Chaetosphaeridium, are thought to be the closest living algal relatives of the stoneworts (Chara), brittleworts (Nitella), and land plants. Most of the recent research on the structure, reproduction, physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of Coleochaete species is intended to test this hypothesis.
Postulated global eukaryote phylogeny based on presence or (ancestral) absence of mitochondria, and shape of mitochondrial cristae. Coleochaete belongs to flattened clade.
Postulated phylogenetic position of Coleochaete, inferred from molecular and morphological data. Branch lengths are arbitrary and do not reflect phylogenetic distance.
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