Nostoc

Nostoc

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nostoc is a type of Blue Green Algae or Cyanobacteria. It consists of long strings of cells suspended in mucilage. To the naked rye it looks like blobs and folded sheets of green jelly, hence the common name Witch's Butter. The cells are prokaryotic and like bacteria have no nucleus, the DNA being found throughout the cytoplasm. The larger cells visible in the strings of vegetative cells are heterocysts which are responsible for nitrogen fixation.

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Keywords: bacteria, blue green algae, colonial algae, colonial cyanobacteria, filamentous, gelatinous sheath, heterocyst, heterocysts, mucilage, nitrogen fixation, nostoc, prokaryote, witch's butter

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