Green flagellar autofluorescence in brown algal swarmers and their phototactic responses

  • Hiroshi Kawai
Invited Article


A flavin-like green autofluorescent substance is noticed to occur in one of the flagella of flagellated cells in the Phaeophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Synurophyceae, Xanthophyceae and Prymnesiophyceae. In the phaeophycean swarmers the autofluorescence occurs in the posterior flagellum throughout its length. It is considered to be involved in the photoreception of phototaxis, since it almost always occurs in the swarmers which have a flagellar swelling and stigma and show phototaxis. In the phaeophycean swarmers, the stigma is shown to act as a concave reflector mirror focusing the reflection light onto the flagellar swelling. In the action spectrum studies, phaeophycean swarmers showed phototaxis between 370 and 520 nm, having two major peaks at 420 or 430 nm and 450 or 460 nm. Their responses were true phototactic and not photophobic. Rotation of the swarmer was shown to be essential in the photoreception ofEctocarpus gametes.

Key words

Action spectrum Brown algae Chromophyta Flagellar autofluorescence Flagellar swelling Phototaxis Stigma 


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Kawai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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