Morphological changes during akinete germination in Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Nostocales, Cyanobacteria).
The occurrence of the cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Woloszynska) Seenayya and Subba Raju is a global water quality issue. The misidentification of C. raciborskii in the past is a major concern for water quality users, considering the reported cases of human and livestock poisonings associated with the cyanobacterium. Many of the available taxonomic descriptions for this species provide little or no detail of the morphology of early developmental phases that may assist with identification. Therefore, typifying the morphological changes throughout the entire life cycle for such a species requires urgent attention. In this study, five distinct morphological phases identified using a new culturing technique are reported for the process of akinete germination in C. raciborskii. Before the terminal emergence of three to four cell germlings through a ruptured akinete envelope (phase 3), mature akinetes (phase 1) elongated and the endospore separated from the akinete envelope (phase 2). After the association with the envelope was lost, four-cell germlings (phase 4a) matured into young trichomes of more than four cells (phase 4b). Throughout the process of germination, internal granular structures decreased in size and were irregular in shape in germlings and young trichomes. The culturing technique, which used a Sedgwick-Rafter cell, was successful in its application but was limiting in that the development of young trichomes after phase 4b could not be monitored.
Journal of Phycology