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Microcystis aeruginosa.jpeg
Microcystis aeruginosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Subkingdom: Eubacteria
Phylum: Cyanobacteria
Class: Cyanophyceae
Order: Chroococcales
Family: Microcystaceae
Genus: Microcystis
Kützing, 1833

Many (see below)

Microcystis is a genus of freshwater cyanobacteria which includes the harmful algal bloom Microcystis aeruginosa.[1]


The generic moniker Microcystis derives from the Greek[2] mikros ("small") + kystis ("bladder")


As the etymological derivation implies, Microcystis is characterized by small cells (a few micrometers in diameter), which lack individual sheaths.[2]

The cells are usually organized into colonies (large colonies of which may be viewed with the naked eye) that begin in a spherical shape, but losing their coherence to become perforated or irregularly shaped over time.

The coloration of the protoplast is a light blue-green, appearing dark or brown due to optical effects of gas-filled vesicles; this can be useful as a distinguishing characteristic when using light microscopy.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chroococcales". EOL. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Cyanobacteria: Microcystis". The Silica Secchi Disk. Connecticut College: The SilicaSecchi Disk. Retrieved 24 June 2011. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Taxonomy Browser Genus: Microcystis". Taxonomy Browser Genus: Microcystis. AlgaeBase. Retrieved 24 June 2011.