Chlamydomonas in environmental samples

chlamy at ACPUB.DUKE.EDU chlamy at ACPUB.DUKE.EDU
Thu Oct 28 12:43:11 EST 1993

Ray Kepner asked,

>Would anyone have an idea on what the most commonly encountered species
>of chlamydomonads are in freshwater (lake, pond, stream, river) habitats?
>I know that there are hundreds of currently recognized species, but am
>curious about which of these we see most frequently in nature.  Thanks
>for any information.

Historically Chlamydomonas species have been described based on
morphological differences at the light microscope level, and there's been a
tendency to give every new isolate with even a subtle difference a new
species name.  Thus it's probably misleading to ask what's the most
frequently encountered species.  However, you could probably at least get
an answer from someone of the frequency of the various subgroups (Ettl's
"Hauptgruppen", or Schlo"sser's groupings based on susceptibility to
autolysins).  Schlo"sser and Ettl are currently working on a revision of
the genus, taking into consideration factors such as interfertility,
autolysins, and molecular data, and they'd probably be the best people to
contact for an assessment at least of the European distribution.  For
American isolates, I'd ask Ralph Lewin.  I don't think any of these people
are on the bionet.chlamydomonas subscriber list, so I'm sending you their
postal addresses in a private e-mail.  

For what it's worth, several people in recent years have isolated
Chlamydomonas strains that are interfertile with C. reinhardtii.  So far as
I know, all these isolates are North American, and I think they all are
from soil.  If anyone has an authentic interfertile strain from somewhere
else, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Elizabeth Harris
chlamy at acpub.duke.edu

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