• sexual expression;
  • zygospore production;
  • nitrogen;
  • glutamine;
  • glutamine synthetase;
  • Chlorococcum echinozygotum


Several environmental factors affected total growth and zygospore production in Chlorococcum echinozygotum Starr. The temperature range at which zygospore production occurred was more restricted than the range that supported vegetative growth. Light intensity had little effect upon zygospore formation: gamete production and gamete pairing occurred in darkness. Zygospore production occurred over a wide pH range; bicarbonate had a minor effect upon zygospore formation. Nitrogen concentration was the factor of primary importance. As the level of nitrogen supplied as nitrate, ammonia, urea and asparagine in the medium was increased, zygospore production first increased (over no nitrogen) at low levels and then decreased at high levels. All levels of glutamine supplied reduced zygospore production. A possible way in which nitrogen concentration in the medium and sexual expression are linked is discussed.