Ecophysiological studies on Spirulina platensis. Effect of temperature, light intensity and nitrate concentration on growth and ultrastructure

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 1980;46(2):113-27. doi: 10.1007/BF00444067.


The ultrastructure of the cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis was studied in relation to temperature, light intensity and nitrate concentration. The organism was able to grow in media supplied with nitrate in concentrations up to 250 mM. High nitrate concentrations increased the yield and growth rate at temperatures above 35 degeees C. Occurrence, distribution and abundance of cyanophycin granules, polyglucan granules, cylindrical bodies, carboxysomes and mesosomes varied widely in relation to the factors studied. At low temperatures (up to 17 degrees C) cyanophycin was the abundant organelle, especially at high nitrate concentrations, whereas in the temperature range 17--20 degrees C polyglucan was found in large quantities particularly at low nitrate concentrations. Special attention was paid to the cylindrical bodies, the ultrastructure of which was dependent on temperature. Three types of ultrastructure were distinguished each with several possible shapes.

MeSH terms

  • Cyanobacteria / growth & development*
  • Cyanobacteria / metabolism
  • Cyanobacteria / ultrastructure
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / ultrastructure
  • Light*
  • Nitrates / metabolism*
  • Organoids / ultrastructure
  • Temperature*


  • Nitrates