Original paper

Zoospore germination and germling development in Chaetophora elegans (Chaetophorales, Chlorophyta)

Michetti, Karina M.; Leonardi, Patricia I.; Cáceres, Eduardo J.


Asexual reproduction in Chaetophora elegans occurs through quadriflagellate zoospores. During the process of settlement, zoospores loose the flagella and become rounded. Attachment involves the fixation of zoospores by means of an adhesion disk made up of a mucilage containing neutral polysaccharides. Germlings acquire then a spindle-like shape. Zoospore germination is erect, i.e. the first system formed is the erect one. In an early stage of development, the first unilateral branches are formed, and almost simultaneously, rhizoids are also formed from the spherical basal cell, giving rise to the bipolar stage. The pluricellular prostrate filament develops then from the basal cell. After a month of development, an erect system made up of radially arranged filaments is observed. Zoospores may germinate in groups resulting in a compound thallus. Given that the germination type is related to the final degree of development of the prostrate and erect portions, the study of zoospore germination in the order Chaetophorales is relevant from a taxonomic point of view at generic level.


chaetophorachaetophora eleganschaetophoraleschlorophytafine structurelight microscopyzoosporezoospore germination