Botryococcus Kützing, 1849
Holotype species: Botryococcus braunii Kützing
Original publication and holotype designation: Kützing, F.T. (1849). Species algarum. pp. [i]-vi, -922. Lipsiae [Leipzig]: F.A. Brockhaus.
Taxonomic status: currently recognized as a distinct genus.
Gender: This genus name is currently treated as masculine.
Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Tsarenko, P.M. (2011). Trebouxiophyceae. In: Algae of Ukraine: diversity, nomenclature, taxonomy, ecology and geography. Volume 3: Chlorophyta. (Tsarenko, P.M., Wasser, S.P. & Nevo, E. Eds), pp. 61-108. Ruggell: A.R.A. Gantner Verlag K.-G..
Results of phylogenetic analysis by Sayama et al. (1995: 419) indicated that B. braunii Kützing (Berkeley strain) is a member of the Chlorophyta and possibly related to Characium vacuolatum and Dunaliella parva (then referred to the Chlorophyceae). Senousy et al. (2004) investigated the phylogenetic placement of four isolates of B. braunii (representing A, B and L chemical races), and found that these four isolates form a monophyletic group whose closest relatives are in the Trebouxiophyceae (unrelated to the sequence reported by Sawayama et al. 1995). The closest known relative of the four isolates of B. braunii is the genus Choricystis. Senousy et al. consider polyphyly of B. braunii to be unlikely and suggest that the presence of a contaminant could explain the results. Weiss et al. (2010) isolated the Berkeley strain nuclear SSU (18S) rRNA and ß-actin cDNA and used these sequences for phylogenetic analysis to confirm that the Berkeley strain belongs to the Tebouxiophyceae. - (22 Sep 2010) - M.D. Guiry
According to Fanés Trevino et al. (2009) this genus belongs to the family Botryococcaceae (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta). Friedl & O'Kelly (2002) place it in the Chlorophyceae. Karsten et al. (2005: fig. 1), Neustupa et al. (2009: fig. 28) and Neustupa et al. (2011: fig. 22) include this in the Choricystis/Botryococcus-clade (Trebouxiophyceae). - (2 Mar 2011) - Wendy Guiry
Description: Thalli microscopic, semi-microscopic to 1 mm in diameter, forming spherical, oval to irregular grape-like colonies. In some species (or when old) composed of subcolonies connected by thin to thick hyaline strands embedded in colorless mucilage. Cells elongate, oval, obovoid, conically narrowed towards the colony center or spherical, on the periphery of colonies arranged radially in one layer, partly or wholly immersed in compact mucilaginous central matrix or directly attached to it by their basal parts; in type species central matrix extremely elastic, sometimes cartilaginous, often impregnated with colorless or orange oil, in latter case colony brown to brick-red. In some species free parts of cells enveloped with collar to funnel like broadenings with wide apical openings, and the basal part of cells covered by brown precipitate. Cells 6-20 µm in diameter or length and 2.5-8 µm wide. Cells uninucleate; chloroplast parietal, cup-shaped, with one basal pyrenoid, sometimes indistinct because of the many oil droplets in the protoplast. Asexual reproduction by 2-4-8 (-16) autospores. Protoplast divides radially relative to colony center, alternately in two mutually perpendicular planes. The parental cell walls gelatinized and divided into two parts, later forming mucilage strands between cells or subcolonies. Zoospores and sexual reproduction unknown.
Information contributed by: F. Hindák & D.J. Garbary. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 20 Dec 2011 by M.D. Guiry.
Comments: Botryococcus planktonic or in metaphyton in oligotrophic to eutrophic waters, some species cosmopolitan with B. canadensis known only from northern Manitoba. Oil production can result in colonies floating to surface resulting in large floating masses. Land plant growth regulators including IAA and kinetin serve as both growth inhibitors and stimulators in B. braunii. At 11.8 %, protein content in B. braunii lower than in Chlorella; amino acids composition similar to Spirulina and Chlorella except for much lower concentrations of methionine plus cystine (0.9 g/100 g protein). Species distinguished based on colony size and details of cell shape and form of mucilage.
Numbers of names and species: There are 16 species names in the database at present, as well as 2 infraspecific names. Of the species names, 14 have been flagged as accepted taxonomically on the basis of the listed literature under the species name. In some instances, opinions on taxonomic validity differ from author to author and users are encouraged to form their own opinion. AlgaeBase is a work in progress and should not be regarded as a definitive source only as a guide to the literature..
Names: ('C' indicates a name that is accepted taxonomically; 'S' a homotypic or heterotypic synonym; 'U' indicates a name of uncertain taxonomic status, but which has been subjected to some verification nomenclaturally; 'P' indicates a preliminary AlgaeBase entry that has not been subjected to any kind of verification. For more information on a species click on it to activate a link to the Species database):
Click here to also show infraspecific names in the list below.
Cambra Sánchez, J., Álvarez Cobelas, M. & Aboal Sanjurjo, M. (1998). Lista florística y bibliográfica de los clorófitos (Chlorophyta) de la Península Ibérica, Islas Baleares e Islas Canarias. pp. 1-614. Burgos: Asociación Española de Limnología.
Weiss, T.L., Johnson, J.S., Fujisawa, K., Sumimoto, K., Okada, S., Chappell, J. & Devarenne, T.P. (2010). Phylogenetic placement, genome size, and GC content of the liquid-hydrocarbon-producing green microalga Botryococcus braunii strain Berkely (Showa) (Chlorophyta). Journal of Phycology 46(3): 534-540.
Friedl, T. & O'Kelly, C.J. (2002). Phylogenetic relationships of green algae assigned to the genus Planophila (Chlorophyta): evidence from 18S rDNA sequence data and ultrastructure. European Journal of Phycology 37: 373-384.
Neustupa, J., Nemcová, Y., Eliéas, M. & Skaloud, P. (2009). Kalinella bambusicola gen. etsp. nov. (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta), a novel coccoid Chlorella-like subaerial alga from Southeast Asia. Phycological Research 57(3): 159-169.
Neustupa, J., Eliás, M., Skaloud, P., Nemcová, Y. & Sejnohová, L. (2011). Xylochloris irregularis gen. et sp. nov. (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta), a novel subaerial coccoid green alga. Phycologia 50(1): 57-66.
Karsten, U., Friedl, T., Schumann, R., Hoyer, K. & Lembcke, S. (2005). Mycosporine-like amino acids and phylogenies in green algae: Prasiola and its relatives from the Trebouxiophyceae (Chlorophyta). Journal of Phycology 41: 557-566.
Verification of data
Users are responsible for verifying the accuracy of information before use, as noted on the website Content page.
Some of the descriptions included in AlgaeBase were originally from the unpublished Encyclopedia of Algal Genera, organised in the 1990s by Dr Bruce Parker on behalf of the Phycological Society of America (PSA) and intended to be published in CD format. These AlgaeBase descriptions are now being continually updated, and each current contributor is identified above. The PSA and AlgaeBase warmly acknowledge the generosity of all past and present contributors and particularly the work of Dr Parker.
Descriptions of chrysophyte genera were subsequently published in J. Kristiansen & H.R. Preisig (eds.). 2001. Encyclopedia of Chrysophyte Genera. Bibliotheca Phycologica 110: 1-260.
Created: 11 April 2002 by M.D. Guiry
Verified by: 20 December 2011 by M.D. Guiry
Linking to this page: http://www.algaebase.org/search/genus/detail/?genus_id=43502
Please cite this record as:
M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2019. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 18 August 2019.