Red algae

Shortly after the pit connection is formed, cytoplasmic continuity is blocked by the generation of a pit plug, which is deposited in the wall gap that connects the cells.

Connections between cells having a common parent cell are called primary pit connections. Because apical growth is the norm in red algae, most cells have two primary pit connections, one to each adjacent cell.

After a pit connection is formed, tubular membranes appear. A granular protein called the plug core then forms around the membranes. The tubular membranes eventually disappear. While some orders of red algae simply have a plug core, others have an associated membrane at each side of the protein mass, called cap membranes. The pit plug continues to exist between the cells until one of the cells dies. When this happens, the living cell produces a layer of wall material that seals off the plug.

The two following case studies may be helpful to understand some of the life histories algae may display:

In the carposporophyte: a spermatium merges with a trichogyne (a long hair on the female sexual organ), which then divides to form carposporangia – which produce carpospores.