163,347 species and infraspecific names are in the database, 22,769 images, 62,937 bibliographic items, 479,080 distributional records.

Nostoc Vaucher ex Bornet & Flahault, 1886

Empire Prokaryota
Kingdom Eubacteria
Subkingdom Negibacteria
Phylum Cyanobacteria
Class Cyanophyceae
Subclass Nostocophycidae
Order Nostocales
Family Nostocaceae

Lectotype species: Nostoc commune Vaucher ex Bornet & Flahault

Original publication:Bornet, É. & Flahault, C. (1886 '1888'). Revision des Nostocacées hétérocystées contenues dans les principaux herbiers de France (quatrième et dernier fragment). Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Septième Série 7: 177-262.
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Type designated in Geitler, L. (1942). Schizophyta: Klasse Schizophyceae. In: Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien, Sweite Auflage. (Engler, A. & Prantl, K. Eds) Vol.1b, pp. 1-232. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.

Taxonomic status: currently recognized as a distinct genus.

Gender: This genus name is currently treated as neuter.

Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Komárek, J., Kaštovský, J., Mares, J. & Johansen, J.R. (2014). Taxonomic classification of cyanoprokaryotes (cyanobacterial genera) 2014, using a polyphasic approach. Preslia 86: 295-335.

Description: Thallose; thallus micro- or macroscopic gelatinous, amorphous or spherical, later irregularly spherical, lobate, smooth or warty on the surface, filamentous or forming flat gelatinous or "paper like" (when dry) colonies, usually with distinct periderm on the colonial surface. Filaments within colony irregularly coiled and loosely or densely agglomerated, sometimes more gathered in peripheral layer; sheaths around trichomes present, but visible usually only in the periphery of colony or in young colonies, wide, fine mucilaginous, confluent with colonial mucilage, sometimes yellowish-brown. Trichomes isopolar, of the same width along the whole length, apical cells morphologically not different from other cells; cells cylindrical, barrel-shaped up to almost spherical (forming moniliform trichomes; variability of cell size and shape sometimes distinct in one and the same species). Heterocytes solitary, develop in trichomes terminally or intercalary (their frequency or absence is dependent on nitrogen metabolism); trichomes in principle metameric. Akinetes arise apoheterocytic, oval, little larger than cells; almost all cells between heterocytes change successively in akinetes towards heterocytes.

Information contributed by: J. Komárek. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 4 Mar 2015 by M.D. Guiry.

Comments: Nostoc has special life (vegetation) cycle, during which forms several special and characteristic stages (Mollenhauer 1986, Lazaroff 1972, Komárek and Anagnostidis 1989). From several described subgenera are probably acceptable typical Nostoc and Amorphonostoc, which differ in morphology of colonies (Amorphonostoc has no periderm) and by a type of life cycle, which is simpler in Amorphonostoc. Cells divide crosswise. Reproduction by motile hormogonia, which differentiate from trichomes by disconnection at heterocytes, by dissociation of thallus and by akinetes, respectively. Different species grow in freshwater biotopes, epipelic, epilithic and epiphytic in unpolluted lakes, ponds and pools, many species grow in different soils (especially the subgenus Amorphonostoc) or on their surface.

N. flagelliforme from Chinese semideserts is edible. Several species are important components of subpolar soil or water biotopes and nitrogen fixers. Few species grow endophytically in fungi (Geosiphon), mosses, liverworts, ferns and vascular plants (roots of Cycas, Gunnera). In world collections are numerous isolated strains, which are, however, insufficiently identified

Common names

(as Nostoc)
?: Yuyucho (Madlener 1977).

Chinese: Fah Tsai, Fah Tsoi, Ke-sien-mi (Madlener 1977).

English: Heaven Vegetable, Star Jelly, Hair Vegetable, Fairies' Butter, Reed falling stars, Black Moss, Dried moss, Blue Weeds, Meat (Madlener 1977).

Indonesian: Djamu batu (Madlener 1977).

Japanese: Ajitsaki (Madlener 1977).

Numbers of names and species: There are 226 species names in the database at present, as well as 97 infraspecific names. Of the species names, 106 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.

Komárek, J., Zapomelova, E. & Hindak, F. (2010). Cronbergia gen. nov., a new cyanobacterial genus (Cyanophyta) with a special strategy of heterocyte formation. Cryptogamie Algologie 31(3): 321-341.

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: 28 December 2000 by M.D. Guiry

Verified by: 04 March 2015 by M.D. Guiry

Linking to this page: http://www.algaebase.org/search/genus/detail/?genus_id=42976

Citing AlgaeBase
Please cite this record as:
M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2021. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 22 September 2021.

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