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Ultrastructural aspects of the symbiosis between two species of the genus Aphanocapsa (Cyanophyceae) and Ircinia variabilis (Demospongiae)

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The association between two species of the genus Aphanocapsa (Cyanophyceae) and the sponge Ircinia variabilis has been studied by electron microscopy. A. feldmanni is localized in the mesohyl or inside the cells of the sponge, while the larger A. raspaigellae is located only in an extracellular position inside cavities of the mesohyl. Both algae differ from other symbiotic Cyanophyceae in having a normal cell wall. They are able to reproduce in symbiotic condition, but also undergo, in their various extracellular and intracellular positions, a massive process of disintegration. A large amount of algal material is dispersed in the sponge tissues, which is a confirmation, at the ultrastructural level, of trophic relationships in the symbiosis Aphanocapsa-Ircinia.

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Communicated by B. Battaglia, Padua

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Sarà, M. Ultrastructural aspects of the symbiosis between two species of the genus Aphanocapsa (Cyanophyceae) and Ircinia variabilis (Demospongiae). Mar. Biol. 11, 214–221 (1971). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00401270

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  • Microscopy
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Cell Wall
  • Sponge
  • Normal Cell