, Volume 502, Issue 1–3, pp 271–283

Taxonomic notes on some freshwater planktonic Cryptophyceae based on light microscopy

  • Pavel Javornicky


The cryptomonads sampled frequently from pelagial of large freshwater bodies, lakes and ponds, but also found in littoral regions and in small water bodies covered with vegetation, are often characterized by the sigmoid (S-shaped) form of their cells. According to the quoted findings of electron microscopy it seems that these species should be incorporated into the new genus Campylomonas Hill. Because the EM characteristics have not been proved so far for all species, and the following nomenclatural combinations accomplished, the traditional classification into the genus Cryptomonas is kept here. The correct name for the largest of sigmoid cryptomonads is Cryptomonas curvataEhr. em. Penard. Contrarily, C. rostrata Troitz. em. Kisel. is to be held for later synonyms. The existence of the species C. rostratiformis Skuja remains uncertain. The smaller species of sigmoid shape, i.e. C. reflexa (Marss.) Skuja and C. marssonii Skuja, may also easily be discerned under the light microscope. From the small puddles with H2S in water, shortened forms of both these species are documented, one of them under the published name C. anas Javorn. The pelagic assemblage of the above sigmoid cryptomonads frequently is completed by Plagioselmis nannoplanctica (Skuja) Novar., Lucas et Morr. and by P. lacustris (Pasch. et Ruttn.) Javorn. These flagellates so far are currently determined as the species of the genus RhodomonasKarsten. In addition to the EM characteristic, they differ from Rhodomonas by the absence of a true gullet (pseudopharynx) having only the ventral furrow with rows of superficial ejectosomes (similar to the genus Cryptochrysis Pascher). The ellipsoidal or ovoid cryptomonads are sampled more frequently from peat pools and small water bodies covered with vegetation than from open pelagial of lakes. An erroneous determination of them causes confusion. Because some strains are wrongly labeled, electron-microscopic characteristics are vaguely determined species. For example, some EM features of Cryptomonas ovata in fact belong to C. pyrenoidifera Geitl. or to C. phaseolus Skuja. Cryptomonas ovata Ehr. em. Stein is not a collective species with a wide dimensional range of ellipsoid cells. It is a large species the typical morphology which is described here in detail. C. splendida Czosn. differs from C. ovata only by the transversal orientation of the cell. Similar to C. ovata but smaller species is C. tatrica Czosn. These species are further compared with the well-defined species C. obovata Skuja and the particularly small C. phaseolus Skuja.

freshwater phytoplankton Cryptomonas Rhodomonas Plagioselmis light microscopy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brett, S. J., L. Perasso & R. Wetherbee, 1994. Structure and development of the cryptomonad periplast: a review. Protoplasma 181: 106–122.Google Scholar
  2. Brett, S. J. & R. Wetherbee, 1986. A comparative study of periplast structure in Cryptomonas cryophila and C. ovata (Cryptophyceae). Protoplasma 131: 23––31.Google Scholar
  3. Butcher, R. W., 1967. An introductory account of the smaller algae of British coastal waters. 4. Cryptophyceae. Fishery Investigations, Ser. 4: London. 54 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Czosnowski, J., 1948. Materialy do flory wiciowców Polski (Materials for the flora of flagellates of Poland). Poznañskie Towarzystwo Przyjaciol Nauk 11. 57 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Ehrenberg, Ch. G., 1838. Die Infusionsthiere als vollkommene Organismen, Berlin und Leipzig. 547 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Ettl, H., 1965. Untersuchungen an Flagellaten. Österreichische Botanische Zeitschrift 112: 701–745.Google Scholar
  7. Ettl, H., 1980. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Süsswasseralgen Dänemarks. Botaniska Tidsskrift 74: 179–223.Google Scholar
  8. Faust, M. A., 1974. Structure of the periplast of Cryptomonas ovata var. palustris. J. Phycol. 10: 121–124.Google Scholar
  9. Geitler, L., 1922. Die Microphytenbiocoenose der Fontinalis-Bestände des Lunzer Untersees und ihre Abhängigkeit vom Licht. Int. Rev. ges. Hydrobiol. 10: 683–691.Google Scholar
  10. Hill, D. R. A., 1991. A revised circumscription of Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae) based on an examination of Australian strains. Phycologia 30: 170–188.Google Scholar
  11. Huber-Pestalozzi, G., 1950. Das Phytoplankton des Süsswassers. Systematik und Biologie 3. Cryptophyceen, Chloromonadinen, Peridineen. In Thiemannn, A. (ed.), Die Binnengewässer 16, 3. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart. 310 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Javornický, P., 1957. N¢ekolik nových a malo známých bi¡c íkovcÿu z kmene Pyrrhophyta (Some new and scarcely known flagellata from the phyllum Pyrrhophyta). Universitas Carolina, Biologica 3: 251–268.Google Scholar
  13. Javornický, P., 1967. Some interesting algal flagellates. Folia geobotanica et phytotaxonomica 2: 43–67.Google Scholar
  14. Javornický, P., 1976. Minute species of the genus Rhodomonas Karsten (Cryptophyceae). Archiv für Protistenkunde 118: 98–106.Google Scholar
  15. Javornický, P., 2001. Freshwater Rhodomonads (Cryptophyceae). Algol. Stud. 102: 93–116.Google Scholar
  16. Javornický, P., 2003. Cryptomonas ovata Ehrenberg (Cryptophyceae) and some related species. Algological Studies (in print).Google Scholar
  17. Kiselev, I. A., 1931. Zur Morphologie einiger neuer und seltener Vertreter des pflanzlichen Mikroplanktons. Archiv für Protistenkunde 73: 246–260.Google Scholar
  18. Klaveness, D., 1981. Rhodomonas lacustris (Pascher and Ruttner) Javornický (Cryptomonadida): ultrastructure of the vegetative cell. J. Protozool. 28: 83–90.Google Scholar
  19. Klaveness, D., 1989. Biology and ecology of the Cryptophyceae: Status and challenges. Biol. Oceanogr. 6: 257–270.Google Scholar
  20. Kugrens, P. & R. E. Lee, 1987. An ultrastructural survey of cryptomonad periplasts using quick-freezing freeze fracture techniques. J. Phycol. 23: 365–376.Google Scholar
  21. Kugrens, P., R. E. Lee & R. A. Andersen, 1986. Cell form and surface patterns in Chroomonas and Cryptomonas cells (Cryptophyta) as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. J. Phycol. 22: 512–522.Google Scholar
  22. Lund, J. W. G., 1962. A rarely recorded but very common British alga, Rhodomonas minuta Skuja. British Phycol. Bull. 2: 133- 139.Google Scholar
  23. Marsson, M., 1904. Die Abwasser-Flora und-Fauna einiger Kläranlagen bei Berlin. Mitteilungen an der Königlichen Prüfungsanstalt für Wasserversorgung und Abwässerbeseitigung zu Berlin, 4.Google Scholar
  24. Novarino, G., I. A. N. Lucas & S. Morrall, 1994. Observations on the genus Plagioselmis (Cryptophyceae). Cryptogamie, Algologie 15: 87–107.Google Scholar
  25. Pascher, A., 1913. Cryptomonadineae. In Pascher, A. & E. Lemmermann (eds), Süsswasserflora Deutschlands. Österreichs und der Schweiz 2, Flagellatae 2: Jena. 96–114.Google Scholar
  26. Penard, E., 1922. Studies on some Flagellata. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phil. 73: 105–168.Google Scholar
  27. Pringsheim, E. G., 1968. Zur Kenntnis der Cryptomonaden des Süsswassers. Nova Hedwigia 16: 367–401.Google Scholar
  28. Roberts, K. R., 1984. Structure and significance of the cryptomonad flagellar apparatus. I. Cryptomonas ovata (Cryptophyta). J. Phycol. 20: 590–599.Google Scholar
  29. Santore, U. J., 1978. Light-and electron-microscopic observations of the palmelloid phase in members of the genus Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae). Archiv für Protistenkunde 120: 420–435.Google Scholar
  30. Santore, U. J., 1984. Some aspects of taxonomy in the Cryptophyceae. New Phytol. 98: 627–646.Google Scholar
  31. Santore, U. J., 1985. A cytological survey of the genus Cryptomonas (Cryptophyceae) with comments on its taxonomy. Archiv für Protistenkunde 130: 1–52.Google Scholar
  32. Schlösser, U. G., 1982. Sammlung von Algenkulturen, Pflanzenphysiologisches Institut der Universität Göttingen. Berichte der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft 95: 181–276.Google Scholar
  33. Skuja, H., 1939. Beitrag zur Algenflora Lettlands 2. Acta Horti botanici Universitatis Latviensis 11/12: 41–169.Google Scholar
  34. Skuja, H., 1948. Taxonomie des Phytoplanktons einiger Seen in Uppland, Schweden. Symb. Bot. Ups. 9: 1–399.Google Scholar
  35. Stein, F., 1878. Der Organismus der Infusionsthiere 3, 1. Leipzig. 154 pp.Google Scholar
  36. Troitzkaja, O. V., 1922. O novoj kryptomonade (De nova Cryptomonadinearum species). Botanièeskie materialy Instituta sporovych rastenij 1, 8.Google Scholar
  37. Willén, E., M. Oké & F. Gonzáles, 1980. Rhodomonas minuta and Rhodomonas lens (Cryptophyceae) - aspects on form-variation and ecology in Lakes Mälaren and Vättern, central Sweden. Acta phytogeographica Suecica 68: 163–172.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pavel Javornicky
    • 1
  1. 1.NáchodCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations