, Volume 153, Issue 1–2, pp 14–23 | Cite as

The flagellar developmental cycle in algae

Two types of flagellar development in uniflagellated algae
  • Kirsten Heimann
  • J. Benting
  • Stefanie Timmermann
  • M. Melkonian


Flagellar development during cell division was studied by light microscopy in three taxa of uniflagellated algae,Pedinomonas tuberculata (Chlorophyta),Monomastix spec. (Chlorophyta), andPseudopedinella elastica (Chromophyta). As shown by electron microscopy during interphaseM. spec, andP. elastica contain a mature, non-functional second basal body, andP. tuberculata contains an immature (i.e., shorter) non-functional second basal body. Two different types of flagellar development were observed in the three taxa: inP. tuberculata the parental flagellum is transferred to one of the progeny cells, whereas the other progeny cell receives a newly formed flagellum that grows from the second non-functional basal body. InM. spec. andP. elastica the parental flagellum is either completely retracted (P. elastica) or partially retracted and autotomized (M. spec); each dividing cell develops two new flagella (from two newly formed basal bodies) which are distributed to the two progeny cells. The uniflagellated condition in algae can thus be attained by two completely different mechanisms: a non-functional second basal body is either the younger (no. 2; inP. tuberculata and otherChlorophyta) or the older (no. 1; inP. elastica and presumably otherChromophyta) of the two basal bodies.


Pedinomonas tuberculata Monomastix spec Pseudopedinella elastica Flagellar developmental cycle Light microscopy Uniflagellated algae 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsten Heimann
    • 1
  • J. Benting
    • 1
  • Stefanie Timmermann
    • 1
  • M. Melkonian
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches InstitutUniversität zu KölnKöln

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