Fritschiella Iyengar
Named for the British
phycologist Felix Eugen Fritsch
The green thallus of Fritschiella has upright branches of uniseriate filaments, prostrate regions of tissue-like filaments, and colorless rhizoids that extend below the soil surface. The upright filaments are tufted and irregularly branched with cells that become increasingly elongated and conical towards the apex of the branch. The end cells lack caps. Each cell growing above ground has a single parietal chloroplast with several pyrenoids.
These morphological features are an example of a parallel evolutionary adaptation to terrestrial life with the land plants. The flagellated reproductive cells show that Fritschiella is in fact closely related to the chlorophyte green algae, rather than to the charophyte green algae that gave rise to land plants.
Both the cells and thallus are distinctly irregular in shape.