Arthrospira sp. Sitzenberger Ex Gomont, 1893
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.
Arthrospira occurs naturally in tropical and subtropical lakes with high pH and high concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate.
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.
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
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.
Wee Yeow Chin