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Name derivation:



Mastigocladus  Cohn ex Kirchner in Engler and Prantl  1898;  only 1 of 9 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2013).

Order Nostocales;  Family Hapalosiphonaceae


Filaments made of several cells in width (multiseriate), forming branches by the division of cells perpendicularly to the main filament axis (true branching).

Similar genera:

Considered a synonym of Hapalosiphon (Geitler 1932) and Fischerella.

Branching and intercellular communication:

Transmission of hydrophilic molecules occurs between cells in Mastigocladus laminosus via the protein SepJ located in the cell septa.  The transmission was verified with fluorescence.  Exchange rate was most rapid in young cells and hormogonia (Nürnberg et al. 2014).

Population Gene flow:

Spatial differences in location of subpopulations, e.g. Mastigocladus laminosus along a temperature gradient in the N-limited White Creek in Yellowstone National Park, WY USA contained more variability in gene ‘islands’ related to heterocyst formation than in most other parts of their genome, suggesting low gene flow only in that region, ~5000 bp near rfbC (carbohydrate biosynthesis) “tightly associated with environmental temperature” in the range 39-54 C.  Two other loci, serine/threonine protein kinase 6882b and htpG protein folding, response to DNA damage stimulus or ATP catalase), also had “elevated levels of polymorphism”.  Other loci were conservative (low genetic variation), interpreted as gene flow among sites along the stream (Wall et al. 2014).


Thermophyle. Found in hot springs, such as Yellowstone, WY USA at temperatures of 50–64 C (Castenholz 1976), and pH 4.8 - .9.8 (Brock and Brock 1970).  Mastigocladus laminosus strain collected from hot spring at Tattapani, Himachal Pradesh, India had maximum PS rate at 45 C, its native habitat temperature (Mongra and Agrawal 2014).




Brock, T.D., and M.L. Brock  1970.  the algae of Waimangu Cauldron (New Zealand):  distribution in relation to pH.  Journal of Phycology 6:371-375.

Casteholz, R.W 1976 The effect of sulphide on thd blue green algae of hotwater springs. I. New Zealand and Iceland.  Journal of Phycology 12:54-68

Graham, L. and L. Wilcox  2000.  Algae. Prentice-Hall

Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry  2013.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.  http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 28 February 2013.

Kirchner, O.  1898.  Schizophyceae. In:  Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien...I. Teil, Abt. 1a. (Engler, A. and K. Prantl, Eds), pp. 45-92. Leipzig:  Wilhelm Engelmann.

Mongra, A.C. and H.O. Agrawal  2014.  Effect of light and temperature on photosynthetic oxygen evolution in Mastigocladus laminosus.  International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences 3(3):56-65.

Nürnberg, D.J., V. Mariscal, J. Parker, G. Mastroianni, E. Flores and C.W. Mullineaux  2014.  Branching and intercellular communicatin in the Section V cyanobacterium Mastigocladus laminosus, a complex multicellular prokaryote.  Molecular Microbiology 91(5):935-949.

Wall, C.A., G.J. Koniges and S.R. Miller  2014.  Divergence with gene flow in a population of thermophilic bacteria:  a potential role for spatially varying selection.  Molecular Ecology 23:3371-3383.






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