What Are The Characteristics Of Spirogyra?


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Spirogyra is a genus of multicellular filamentous green algae. It occurs in great abundance in fresh water ponds, lakes and streams. Its filamentous thallus consists of many cylindrical cells which are joined from end to end to form long, unbranched filaments. Usually the filaments are found occurring together in a very large number. The filaments are surrounded by a layer of mucilage that makes them sticky.

During day time, the oxygen produced during photosynthesis accumulates in the mucilage and the filaments starts floating on the surface of water. Each cell of spirogyra is usually twice as long as broad. The cell wall is surrounded by cellulosic cell wall. A peripheral layer of cytoplasm is present just inside the cell wall around a large, central cell sap filled vacuole. The nucleus is suspended near the vacuole by cytoplasmic strands; these strands connect to the peripheral cytoplasm.

Each cell contains one or more large, ribbon shaped, spiral, green chloroplasts that run along the length of the cell in the cytoplasm. Numerous pyrenoids are located in a row in the chloroplast and are meant for storing starch. Spirogyra continually grows in length by cell division; each cell is divided into two. The spirogyra reproduces both by sexual as well as asexual method.

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