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(biology) any of a class of red or blue-green pigments found in the red algae and cyanobacteria
Any of a class of water-soluble, mostly red, orange, and blue pigments found in cyanobacteria and red algae. Phycobilins absorb the blue and blue-green frequencies of light which penetrate deep water, and allow red algae to carry on photosynthesis at greater depths than other organisms. Phycobilins are chemically similar to chlorophyll and, like the heme in hemoglobin, are often found bound to proteins.


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  • Phycobiont

    [fahy-koh-bahy-ont] /ˌfaɪ koʊˈbaɪ ɒnt/ noun 1. the algae component of a lichen. /ˌfaɪkəʊˈbaɪɒnt/ noun 1. (botany) the algal constituent of a lichen Compare mycobiont

  • Phycocyanin

    [fahy-koh-sahy-uh-nin] /ˌfaɪ koʊˈsaɪ ə nɪn/ noun, Biochemistry. 1. a blue protein pigment, found in algae, involved in the process of photosynthesis.

  • Phycoerythrin

    [fahy-koh-i-rith-rin, -er-uh-thrin] /ˌfaɪ koʊ ɪˈrɪθ rɪn, -ˈɛr ə θrɪn/ noun 1. a red protein pigment occurring in red algae.

  • Phycologist

    [fahy-kol-uh-jee] /faɪˈkɒl ə dʒi/ noun 1. the branch of botany dealing with algae. /faɪˈkɒlədʒɪ/ noun 1. the study of algae n. “study of seaweeds,” 1847, from phyco- + -logy. Related: Phycological; phycologist. phycology (fī-kŏl’ə-jē) The scientific study of algae.

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