163,906 species and infraspecific names are in the database, 22,783 images, 63,105 bibliographic items, 484,277 distributional records.

Spirulina Turpin ex Gomont, 1892

Empire Prokaryota
Kingdom Eubacteria
Subkingdom Negibacteria
Phylum Cyanobacteria
Class Cyanophyceae
Subclass Oscillatoriophycidae
Order Spirulinales
Family Spirulinaceae

Lectotype species: Spirulina major Kützing ex Gomont

Original publication:Gomont, M. (1892 '1893'). Monographie des Oscillariées (Nostocacées Homocystées). Deuxième partie. - Lyngbyées. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Série 7 16: 91-264, pls 1-7.
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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.

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: Filamentous; filaments unbranched, always without sheaths, rarely solitary (free floating), usually in clusters or in fine mats which are to macroscopically visible and covering the substrate, regularly screw-like coiled along the whole trichome length, with unchanged width of screws (very rarely is the spiral form eliminated); screws are very tight, touching one to another or with small spaces between them, trichomes:spirals width ratio being (2)-2.5-(4). Trichomes isopolar, 0.5-3(6?) _m wide, uniseriate, composed of cylindrical cells, unconstricted at the crosswalls which are usually not visible in the light microscope, not attenuated towards the ends, intensely motile (rotation). Cells without aerotopes and prominent granules, more or less isodiametric, less (?) or longer than wide, usually with homogeneous content, pale blue-green, olive-green or pinkish, with changeable PC:PE ratio, with asymmetrically localized thylakoids near the "outer" walls, with special perforation of the side walls (see Guglielmi and Cohen-Bazire 1982 compared to all species); end cells widely rounded, without thickened cell walls or calyptras. Heterocytes and akinetes absent. Cell division crosswise, perpendicular to the long axis of a trichome, daughter cells grow Å to the original size before the next division. All cells capable of division. Reproduction by fragmentation of trichomes into motile hormogonia without necridic cells. Several species are benthic or grow in metaphyton of freshwater biotopes, usually in not heavy artificially polluted waters, in detritus among water plants. Several species prefer thermal and mineral springs, "Sulphuretum" -communities, or halophilic biotopes (marine coastal and brackish waters).

Information contributed by: J. Komárek. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 27 Jun 2016 by M.D. Guiry.

Common names

(as Spirulina)
Aztec: Tecuitlatl (Lembi & Waaland 1988).

Chadic Arabic: Dihe (Lembi & Waaland 1988).

Numbers of names and species: There are 85 species names in the database at present, as well as 30 infraspecific names. Of the species names, 51 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.

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: 27 June 2016 by M.D. Guiry

Linking to this page: http://www.algaebase.org/search/genus/detail/?genus_id=43080

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 25 October 2021.

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