Induction of sexual reproduction and zygospore patterns in the filamentous green alga Spirogyra (Conjugatophyceae: Zygnematales)

  • Mostafa M El-Sheekh Botany Department, Faculty of Science,Tanta University
  • Michael Schagerl Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna
  • Mohamed Gharieb Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Menuofia University, Egypt
  • Ghada Abou Elsoud Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Menuofia University, Egypt
Keywords: Environmental conditions, Sexual reproduction, Spirogyra, zygospore formation.



Morphotaxonomy, ecological preferences and biological characterization of algal taxa of order Zygnematales (Conjugatophyceae, Chlorophyta), mainly the freshwater species Spirogyra, Zygnema, and Mougeotia are still poorly understood and need further in-depth investigations. In this study, different Spirogyra strains were examined to characterize their abilities in conjugation and formation of zygospores under different environmental conditions.  It was found that 16:8-h light:dark photoperiod is the best condition to induce the conjugation and zygospore formation. Moreover, the sexual reproduction was noticed to be motivated with increasing the light intensity up to 85 µmol photons m-2s-1 and no conjugation was observed at 35 µmol photons m-2s-1. The attribute of conjugation in red and blue lights, respectively, never equalized that in the white light even with a high intensity. pH value (7.5) was the most suitable niche for induction of sexual reproduction in the studied Spirogyra strains. An increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, provided by NaHCO3 solution, did not enhance the sexual reproduction. Cultivation of the investigated Spirogyra strains on 0.003% CaCl2-containing agarized Pringhsheim´s medium (1/2 conc. and without nitrogen) induced the conjugation process as in case of CaCl2 omitted. UV radiation completely inhibited the conjugation at all growth conditions.

Plant Sciences