Original paper

Cell inclusions in the chasmoendolithic Cyanophytes from cave-like environments in Murcia (SE Spain)

Asencio, Antonia D.; Aboal, Marina


During a study of the algal flora of caves and abrigos in SE Spain, the presence of chasmoendolithic species previously unknown in this type of environment was detected. The following chasmoendolithically growing cyanophytes were studied at ultrastructural level: Chroococcidiopsis cf. kashaii, Cyanosarcina cf. burmensis, Leptolyngbya gracillima, Leptolyngbya perforans, Phormidium molle and Pseudocapsa dubia. They were seen to have a more or less typical Gram negative cell wall, a widely varying sheath and a well developed thylakoid system, whose distribution followed taxonomic criteria. The most frequent inclusions were glycogen granules, polyhedral bodies, cyanophycin granules, polyphosphate granules, lipid inclusions and poly-β-hydroxybutyric acid granules. Their ultrastructure showed a cell structure typical for photosynthetic prokaryotes, while these seemed to be no common characteristics to indicate adaptation to endolithic life but only a taxonomic relation.


cavecell inclusionschasmoendolithiccyanophytesultrastructurechroococcidiopsis cf. kashaiicyanosarcina cf. burmensisleptolyngbya gracillimaleptolyngbya perforansphormidium mollepseudocapsa dubia