2000 Volume 46 Issue 1 Pages 39-50
Serial observations were carried out on cultures of five morphospecies of the genus Microcystis Kützing ex Lemmermann 1907, Microcystis aeruginosa (Kützing) Kützing, Microcystis ichthyoblabe Kützing, Microcystis novacekii (Komárek) Compére, Microcystis viridis (A. Brown) Lemmermann, and Microcystis wesenbergii (Komárek) Komárek in Kondratieva. Many strains maintained colony forms characteristic of their morphospecies, and others showed morphological variations, some of which were characteristic of other morphospecies. M. novacekii displayed several morphotypes including some characteristics of M. aeruginosa and M. ichthyoblabe. M. wesenbergii also showed great morphological variability and showed morphotypes characteristic of M. aeruginosa. Distinction among these morphospecies, therefore, seemed to be obscure or impossible. We conclude that the current classification of the genus Microcystis, chiefly based on morphological characteristics, is no longer valid and must be reviewed in light of our observations that one strain may have various colony forms.