The characteristic color of golden algae results from their yellow and brown carotenoids. The cells of golden algae are typically biflagellated, with both flagella attached near one end of the cell. Many golden algae are components of freshwater and marine plankton. While all golden algae are photosynthetic, some species are mixotrophic. These mixotrophs can absorb dissolved organic compounds or ingest food particles, including living cells (eukaryotes and prokaryotes), by phagocytosis. Most species are unicellular, but some, such as those in the freshwater genus Dinobryon, are colonial.