Cyanobacterium which is filamentous in its structure. Contains terminal heterocysts (cells which allow C. Raciborskii to obtain nitrogen from the atmosphere). They also contain Alkinete cells which serve as survival structures that contain food particles during times of low nutrient availibility.
C. Raciborskii has a high phosphate affinity and storage capacity, and can also use dissolved organic phosphorous.
C. Raciborskii has been described as 'invasive'. It was originally thought to be only a tropical bacterium but has been found in more temperate climates such as Europe and New Zealand.
C. Raciborskii ha a wide temperature tolerance, and optimal growth at 30 degrees celcius.
C. Raciborskii produces the cyanotoxin Cylindrospermopsin which has been implicated in the Palm Island Poisoning in 1979. It also can cause shellfish paralysis.
Cylindrospermopsin production is highest at around 20 degrees celcius.
Australia has the highest distribution of C. Raciborskii.