What is cladophora?

This genus is found in both salt and fresh water. The fresh-water forms are usually attached to sticks or stones in quiet or running water. The mats feel rough and crisp and, even under a pocket lens, show the characteristic branching by which the form is easily recognized. The absence of a mucous coat makes Cladophora a convenient host for numerous parasitic algae, among which diatoms belonging to the genera Cocconeis and Gomphonema are particularly abundant.

For laboratory cultures, select the forms found in quiet water, but for preparations, forms growing where the waves dash hard are better, since you can get a fine display of branches under a small cover. Forms growing in still water or in gently flowing water may look like unbranched filaments under an ordinary cover. The special chromo-acetic-osmic solution is excellent for Cladophora. Iron-alum haematoxylin, followed by the Venetian turpentine methods, gives the best results for nuclei and pyrenoids. Magdala red and anilin blue are better for the cell wall and chromatophores.

Return to Methods in Plant Histology