Under a magnification of 500X, this Gridley-stained photomicrograph revealed the presence of numbers of algal organisms, Prototheca wickerhamii, which were found within a specimen of deer tissue. Though categorized taxonomically as an alga, it derives its sustenance as a saprophyte, consuming dead and decaying organic matter.
Under microscopic analysis, Prototheca spp. resemble a fungal organism, and can therefore, be mistaken when attempting to identify these algae.
Similar to the members of the genus Chlorella, Prototheca spp. are heterotrophic, , which means these organisms require carbon in order to thrive, and obtains this nutrient through its consumption of organic substrates. This algal culture was prepared using a lactophenol cotton blue mount fixation technique.