Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Arthrospira sp. Sitzenberger Ex Gomont, 1893

Kingdom:Protista
Phylum/Division:Cyanophyta
Class:Cyanophyceae
Order:Oscillatoriales
Genus:Arthrospira
Common Names:Spirulina
Status:Common

Description

The filament is unbranched, does not show a transverse septation and is twisted into a narrow spiral with successive turns close together. However, under the electron microscope, cross walls have been detected.

Read more about the Oscillatoriales order.

Distribution

Arthrospira occurs naturally in tropical and subtropical lakes with high pH and high concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate.

Localities

Pulau Ubin.

Locality Map

General Biology

This is a free floating organism occurring in freshwater, brackish and marine waters. It is common in many alkaline salt lakes in Africa and America.

Human Uses

Arthrospira is grown in many tropical countries for the production of sprulina health supplements in the form of pills, flakes and powder. In Vietnam the powder is mixed with milk and given to malnourished children as a protein supplement. It has also been claimed that the alga has antiviral and anti-cancer properties. The alga has also been used as a fish feed

References

Bold, H. C., C. J. Alexopoulos & T. Delevoryas, 1987. Morphology of plants and fungi. Harper & Row, New York. (5th ed.). 912pp

Prud’homme van Reine, W. F. & G. C. Trona Jr., (eds.) 2002. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 15(1). Cryptogams: Algae. Prosea Foundation, Borgor, Indonesia. 318 pp.

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