Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spirogyra under the Microscope

Spirogyra is a genus of green algae of the order Zygnematales. Spirogyra have a sprial arrangement of chloroplasts and are commonly found in fresh water ponds. The cell wall of Spirogyra has two layers - the outer wall is composed of pectin that dissolves in water to make the filament slimy to touch while the inner wall is made up of cellulose. The chloroplasts are ribbon shaped and usually arranged spirally, which results in the prominent characteristic green spiral on each filament.

Spirogyra 100x
Spirogyra captured under the microscope at 100x.
In the springtime Spirogyra grows under water, but when there is more sunlight and warmth, Spirogyra produce large amounts of oxygen that adhere as bubbles among the tangled filaments. These masses of Spirogyra come to the surface and become visible as a slimy green mat.

Spirogyra 400x
Spirogyra captured at 400x using the U2 biological microscope.
This Spirogyra prepared slide is available in the botany prepared slide kit. Images were captured using the U2 biological microscope and the 5mp microscope camera.

Spirogyra prepared slide captured at 400x under a biological microscope.