Friday 21 March 2014

A new species of Golden Algae from central Finland.

Golden Algae (Chrysophyceae) are photosynthetic eukaryotic microbes (i.e. single celled organisms that posses cell nuclei similar to those found in the cells of animals and plants, but unlike bacteria which do not), found throughout the world, predominantly in fresh water. The group is mostly poorly studied, with the exception of a few species which are toxic to Fish.

In a paper published in the journal Phytotaxa on 10 September 2013, Magda Škaloudová and Pavel Škaloud of the Department of Botany at Charles University in Prague, describe a new species of Golden Algae from an unnamed lake in central Finland.

The new species is placed in the genus Chrysosphaerella, and given the specific name rotundata meaning rounded. Chrysosphaerella rotundata forms spherical multicellular colonies. Each cell has two flagella and is covered by siliceous (glassy) scales and spines. The scales come in three size classes, large circular scales (3.0–3.5 × 2.2–3.1 μm), large oval scales (2.0–3.1 × 1.3–2.4 μm), and smaller oval scales (1.5–1.7 × 1.2 μm), all of which have a scalloped pattern of ridges about the edge. The spines have a bobbin-like structure, and are 4-10 μm in length. 

 Chrysosphaerella rotundata. (1) Large oval and less or more circular scales. (2) Large circular scale. (3) Large and small oval scales. (4) Spine with a thick shaft, and both oval and circular scales. (5) Two spines with a thick shaft. (6) Spine showing a variation in a thickness of a shaft. Scale bars: (1, 3–6): 2 μm; (2) 1 μm. Škaloudová & Škaloud (2013)