Light microscopical observations of the sigmoid species of the genus Cryptomonas Ehrenberg (Cryptophyceae) and their eventual pyrenoids

Open access


Several species of the genus Cryptomonas EHRENB. are characterized by the sigmoid (S-shaped) form of their cells under natural conditions. Such species were sampled and studied by the author for decades from the plankton of freshwater lakes, dam reservoirs, fishponds, and peat pools, from among littoral vegetation, as well as in small water bodies overgrown with vegetation. After application of optical microscopes on live or chemically treated specimens, they were measured and depicted. Four species known from literature are demonstrated to be easily determinable, namely Cryptomonas curvata, C. reflexa, C. marssonii, C. gracilis. Two new varieties are described. Cryptomonas borealis is shown as a transient species between straight and sigmoid cells. A special attention is given to the occurrence of pyrenoids and Maupas corpuscles within the cells. The new forma of C. cylindrica is pictured and described, with the antapex of the cells deformed differently from sigmoid species.


  • Brett S.J., Perasso L. & Wetherbee R. (1994): Structure and development of the cryptomonad periplast: a review. - Protoplasma 181: 106-122.

  • Butcher R.W. (1967): An introductory account of the smaller algae of British coastal waters. 4. Cryptophyceae. - Fishery Invest., Se. 4: 1-54.

  • Czosnowski J. (1948): Materialy do flory wiciowców Polski (Materials to the flora of flagellates of Poland). - Poznań.Towar. Przyjac. Nauk 11(4): 1-17.

  • Ehrenberg Ch.G. (1838): Die Infusionsthierchen als vollkommene Organismen. Berlin u. Leipzig, 547 pp.

  • Ettl H. (1965): Untersuchungen an Flagellaten. - Österreich. botan. Zeitschr. 112: 701-745. - (1980): Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Süsswasseralgen Dänemarks. - Botan. Tidsskr. 74: 179-223.

  • Fott B. (1971) Algenkunde. VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena, 581 pp.

  • Hill D.R.A. (1991): A revised circumscription of Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae) based on an examination of Australian strains. - Phycolologia 30: 170-188.

  • Hoef-Emden K. (2007): Revision of the genus Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae) II: incongruences between the classical morphospecies concept and molecular phylogeny in smaller pyrenoid-less cells. - Phycologia 46(4): 402-428.

  • Hoef-Emden K. & Melkonian M. (2003): Revision of the genus Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae): a combination of molecular phylogeny and morphology provides insights into a long-hidden dimorphism. - Protist 154: 371-409.

  • Huber -Pestalozzi, G. (1950): Das Phytoplankton des Süsswassers. Systematik und Biologie 3. Cryptophyceen, Chloromonadinen, Peridineen. In: Thiemannn A. (ed.), Die Binnengewässer. Stuttgart, 310 pp.

  • Javornický, P. (1957): Několik nových a málo známých bičíkovců z kmene Pyrrhophyta (Some new and scarcely known flagellata from the phyllum Pyrrhophyta). - Univ. Carol., Biologica 3(3): 251-268.

  • - (1967): Some interesting algal flagellates. - Fol. geobot. phytotax., Praha 2: 43-67. - (1978): Cryptophyceae - kryptomonády. In: Hindák, F. (ed.): Sladkovodné riasy (Freshwater algae). Bratislava, pp. 451-465.

  • - (2001): Freshwater Rhodomonads (Cryptophyceae). - Algological Studies 102: 93-116.

  • - (2003a): Cryptomonas ovata Ehrenberg (Cryptophyceae) and some related species. - Algological Studies 110: 43-65.

  • - (2003b): Taxonomic notes on some freshwater planktonic Cryptophyceae based on light microscopy. In: Naselli-Flores L., Padisák J. & Dokulil M.T. (eds): Phytoplankton and equilibrium concept: The ecology of steady-state assemblages. Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 271 - 283.

  • Kiselev I.A. (1931): Zur Morphologie einiger neuer und seltener Vertreter des pflanzlichen Mikroplanktons. - Archiv Protistenk. 73: 246-260.

  • Klaveness D. (1985): Classical and modern criteria for determining species of Cryptophyceae. - Bull. Plankt. Soc. Japan 32(2): 111-123.

  • Kugrens P. & Clay B.L. (2003): Cryptomonads. In: Wehr J. D. & Sheath R. G.: Freshwater algae of North America, Ecology and classification. Academic Press, pp. 715-755.

  • Kugrens P, Lee R. E. & Andersen R.A. (1986): Cell form and surface patterns in Chroomonas and Cryptomonas cells (Cryptophyta) as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. - Journal Phycology 22: 512-522.

  • Marsson M. (1904): Die Abwasser-Flora und -Fauna einiger Kläranlagen bei Berlin. Mitteilungen an der Königlichen Prüfungsanstalt für Wasserversorgung und Abwässerbeseitigung zu Berlin, 4.

  • Novarino G. (2003): A companion to the identification of cryptomonad flagellates (Cryptophyceae = Cryptomonadea). In: Naselli-Flores L., Padisák J. & Dokulil M.T. (eds): Phytoplankton and equilibrium concept: The ecology of steady-state assemblages. Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 225-270.

  • Penard E. (1922): Studies on some Flagellata. - Proc. Academy Natural Sciences 73: 105-168.

  • Santore U.J. (1985): A cytological survey of the genus Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae) with comments on its taxonomy. - Arch. Protistenk. 130: 1-52.

  • Skuja H. (1939): Beitrag zur Algenflora Lettlands 2. - Acta Horti botan. Univ. Latv. 11/12: 41-169. - (1948): Taxonomie des Phytoplanktons einiger Seen in Uppland, Schweden. - Symbol. botan. Upsal. 9(3): 1-399.

  • - (1956): Taxonomische und biologische Studien über das Phytoplankton Schwedischer Binnengewässer. - Nova Acta reg. Soc. Scien. Upsal., Ser. 4. 16(3): 1-404.

  • Stein F. (1878): Der Organismus der Infusionsthiere 3. Leipzig, 154 pp. Troitzkaja O. V. (1922): O novoj kryptomonade (De nova Cryptomonadinearum species). - Botaničeskie materialy Instituta sporovych rastenij 1: 8.

Acta Musei Silesiae, Scientiae Naturales

The Journal of Silesian Museum in Opava

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 7 7 7
PDF Downloads 2 2 2