Difference Between Cyanobacteria and Green Algae

Cyanobacteria and Green Algae are both organisms which are found in aquatic habitat. They grow from the evolution of algae. They are known as photosynthetic organisms.

Cyanobacteria vs Green Algae

The main difference between Cyanobacteria vs Green Algae is Cyanobacteria are prokaryotes, and Green Algae are eukaryotes. Green algae contain chloroplast, but Cyanobacteria does not contain chloroplast. Green algae do not undergo nitrogen fixation, but Cyanobacteria undergo nitrogen fixation. Green Algae is not capable of storing nutrients, but Cyanobacteria is enough and sufficient to store nutrients.

Cyanobacteria vs Green Algae

Cyanobacteria are prokaryotes. It does not contain chloroplast, which is why it is not green in color. Some cyanobacteria are heterotrophs. They are mainly found in aquatic habitats.

Green Algae are Eukaryotes. They contain chloroplast, which leads to green color in them. It is surrounded by membrane-bound organelles.

Comparison Table Between Cyanobacteria and Green Algae

Parameter of ComparisonCyanobacteriaGreen Algae
Type of OrganismProkaryotesEukaryotes
Membrane-Bound OrganellesYesNo
ChloroplastNoContains one or more chloroplast
Nitrogen FixationIt undergoes It does not undergo
ReproductionAsexualSexual, Asexual

What are Cyanobacteria?

It is a photosynthetic bacteria. It has some pigments which undergo nitrogen fixation. It can be found in freshwater habitats. It can also be found in soil. It is either unicellular or multicellular.

These pigments have different colors. Phycoerythrin is red, and Phycocyanin is blue. It has vacuoles inside them. It is a prokaryotic organism. Some Cyanobacteria are heterotrophs.

It has no memory-bound organelles. It is capable of producing its food. It has a high capability to store nutrients in them. It does not undergo sexual reproduction. It lives symbiotically.

The gliding behavior in them occurs due to changes in the trichome which changes the depth of the organism inside water. It undergoes asexual reproduction.


What is Green Algae?

This is a photosynthetic organism. It has chlorophyll present in it, which makes it green in color. It also contains another pigment like beta-carotene and xanthophyll.

The food is stored as starch or fats. Chloroplast contains photosynthetic pigment. It has a large cell. It is either uninucleated or multinucleated.

It can also undergo asexual reproduction by the formation of zoospores. It undergoes sexual reproduction by the formation of gametes, either same size gametes or male or female gametes.

It consists of membrane-bound organelles. It contains more than one cell, which contains chloroplast. It does not contain any nutrients because it has no stability to contain nutrients.


Main Differences Between Cyanobacteria and Green Algae

  1. Cyanobacteria cannot swim in the water, but Green Algae can swim in the water.
  2. Cyanobacteria do not sexually reproduce, but Green Algae sexually reproduce.
Difference Between Cyanobacteria and Green Algae


Cyanobacteria and Algae are both photosynthetic organisms. It cooks its food. It has storage units in which form it stores its food.

Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic-bacteria prokaryotes. Cyanobacteria are not capable of swimming in water. They can change their depth in water. There are no memory-bound organelles in cyanobacteria.

There is asexual reproduction in Green Algae. It does not contain any nutrients because it has no stability to contain nutrients. It forms sheet-like colonies when observed. It does not contain flagella.

It has a gliding movement. The asexual reproduction in Green Algae is done through either fission, budding, fragmentation. It can also undergo asexual reproduction by the formation of zoospores.


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-3855-3_1
  2. https://bsapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.3732/ajb.91.10.1535
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