• axenic culture;
  • bialgal culture;
  • brown algae;
  • Monostroma;
  • morphogenesis;
  • red algae


The typical morphology of Monostroma oxyspermum (Kütz.) Doty is lost in axenic culture. In synthetic media of the ASP type, it grows as a colony-like mass composed of round cells with numerous rhizoids. Such a mass is a fragile structure which falls apart upon shaking, or slight touch, into small cell-groups and single cells or cells with a long rhizoid. Only temporary saccate or monostromatic fronds appear and reach 1–2 mm in length when grown in enriched seawater media, but disintegrate and become a colony-like mass. The typical morphology is easily restored by adding at specific intervals filtrates of bacterial cultures and supernatant medium from axenic brown and red algal cultures to the basal medium (ASP7), or by reinfecting the Monostroma with an appropriate bacterial flora. Furthermore, the typical morphology in also maintained by bialgal cultures between Monostroma and other axenic strains of various species of seaweeds except the species belonging to the Chlorophyceae. Monostroma thus appears to utilize some substances released by most species of brown and red algae for its typical growth. Active substances released by bacteria, brown and red algae have not yet been identified and purified. However, it is demonstrated that in axenic cultures many species of seaweeds produce active extracellular substances which play an important role in growth and Morphogenesis of other species of seaweeds.