Spirogyra conjugating, polarised light micrograph

Spirogyra conjugating, polarised light micrograph

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Credit: KARL GAFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Spirogyra conjugating. Polarised light micrograph showing conjugating filaments of Spirogyra sp., a green alga which forms slimy threads in stagnant or slow moving water. Spirogyra is named for its spiral chloroplasts (green) found within each cell. Conjugation, a form of sexual reproduction, occurs when adjacent filaments put out papillae which meet to form conjugation tubes (seen here). Cytoplasm from the cells of one of the threads migrates through the tubes to fuse with the cytoplasm in the cells of the other thread, forming zygospores which lie dormant until the next spring.

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