Morphological Characteristics of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Wołoszyńska) Seenayya et Subba Raju in Laboratory Cultures


The freshwater cyanoprokaryote Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii has become increasingly prevalent in tropical and temperate water bodies worldwide. The morphological characteristics of this species were investigated under different growth rates in continuous cultures (at steady state) and in batch (phosphorus starved) cultures with different mineral nitrogen forms. The species displays an enormous morphological variability under controlled condition. The occurrence of extreme long twisted filaments was found near the maximum growth rate and under high ammonium concentration. Rarely the heterocytes of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii arise intercalarly between two neighbouring cells (i.e. intercalary heterocytes were found). The morphological features are highly effected by environmental conditions and nutrient availability. Under P-starvation extreme morphology appeared. The specifications of C. africana and C. cuspis overlap with that of C. raciborskii accordingly this is not clear characteristic feature to distinguish species. A pure culture of a pro- or eukaryote alga growing in continuous cultures is a good method for giving a suitable overview on all morphological possibilities of a tested organism.


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The author would like to thank Dr. Sándor Herodek, Dr. Lajos Vörös, Dr. Mátyás Présing and Mr. Péter Sprőber for continuous help and useful discussion throughout this work. Thanks go to Ms. Edit Szőke for revision the English language of the manuscript.

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Shafik, H.M. Morphological Characteristics of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Wołoszyńska) Seenayya et Subba Raju in Laboratory Cultures. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 54, 121–136 (2003).

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  • Batch and continuos cultures
  • Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii
  • morphology
  • P-starvation
  • nitrogen forms