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The main characteristics of Cryptophyceae are:

  1. They are found equally in marine and fresh water.
  2. The cell contains the pigments chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c and phycobiliprotein are located within the lumen of thylakoids.
  3. The cell body is asymmetric with dorsi-ventral sides.
  4. Two anteriorly directed flagellum is present which perform different functions.
  5. Presence of pyrenoids as reserve food materials.