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(Gr. speira: spiral; circle, round) A genus of filamentous green algae commonly found in fresh water as skeins of fine green threads. The threads consist of individual cells attached end-to-end. Inside each cell is one or more ribbon-like, spirally arranged chloroplast(s), hence the name Spirogyra. Growth occurs by simple transverse division of cells, and sexual reproduction occurs by fragmentation of threads. Occasionally, Spirogyra undergoes sexual reproduction: two threads lie alongside each other, and the contents of each cell in one strand pass through a temporary tunnel into the corresponding cell of the other strand. The donor thread thus becomes an empty shell, while the recipient thread undergoes a series of changes before resistant spores are released, eventually to produce new threads.


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The Genus Spirogyra is a member of the Family Zygnemataceae. Here is the complete "parentage" of Spirogyra:

The Genus Spirogyra is further organized into finer groupings including:


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Last Revised: August 27, 2014
2014/08/27 08:01:07