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Description of Pleodorina

Colonies spherical to ellipsoidal, 128 (rarely 32 or 64) cells embedded in the periphery of a common gelatinous matrix; colonial boundary smooth, sometimes with posterior mammillations; cells separated from each other by spaces, usually not arranged in tiers; 20-50% or even more of the cells somatic, remainder reproductive (gonidia); somatic cells smaller, mostly anteriorly in colony; both cell types spherical or oval, two equal flagella; chloroplast cup-shaped, with 1 pyrenoid in small cells and 1 to many in large cells; eyespot anterior; 2 or more contractile vacuoles; asexual reproduction with a plakeal stage and inversion to form daughter colonies, somatic cells not undergoing division; sexual reproduction anisogamous, homothallic or heterothallic, with large, biflagellate female gametes (eggs) and packets of small, biflagellate male gametes (sperm); zygotes spherical, with a smooth or finely granulated wall, often with reddish contents; on germination, a single biflagellate gone cell escaping from zygote wall and dividing into a gone colony; in one species bacteria-like endosymbionts observed; freshwater, of scattered distribution, especially in ponds and pools, occasionally bloom-forming.

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