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Description of Pyrobotrys

Colonies usually 8- or 16-celled, cells arranged in alternating tiers of 2 or 4 cells each; cells ellipsoidal, ovoid or pear-shaped, in some species curved or with a drawn out posterior end; 2 equal flagella; chloroplast cup-shaped, no pyrenoids; eyespot present or absent, in some species smaller from anterior to posterior in colony, in other species larger in posterior cells; contractile vacuoles 2, anterior; asexual reproduction by formation of 8- or 16-celled daughter colonies released by gelatinisation of parental cell wall; sexual reproduction isogamous, heterothallic or homothallic, 4, 8, 16 or 32 small gametes formed per cell; planozygote 4-flagellated, developing 4 radiating processes in the anterior half when matured (this stage closely resembles vegetative cells of Chlorobrachis), after loss of flagella transforming into thick-walled resting zygote; germinating zygote releasing 4 biflagellate gone cells separately; nutrition phototrophic (with carbon dioxide as carbon source) or photo-organotrophic (with acetate as carbon source); freshwater, especially in small pools rich in organic matter, also appearing in cultures from soil samples.

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