Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 3 No. 2

Fatty Acid Composition Reveals Morphological Heterogeneity of Freshwater Anabaena strains

Anbalagan Ezhilarasi* and Narayanaswamy Anand

Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai - 600 025, Tamilnadu, India.

Received on 26 January 2009 and accepted on 24 March 2009



In this study, ten isolates of freshwater filamentous heterocystous Anabaena spp. were selected for comparing their fatty acid composition with the morphological properties. Morphologically the investigated strains could be discriminated in to two groups. One important feature for specific identity of the taxa is the proximity of the akinetes to heterocyst, whether adjacent to or away from. Fatty acids and their chemo-taxonomic values were investigated in Anabaena. Totally 21 fatty acids were found all the ten isolates. A dendrogram for the ten strains are shown in relation to fatty acid composition and resulted in two major clusters. The major clusters consisted of seven strains. The other clusters had a maximum of two morphoforms. There was a close correlation between fatty acid composition and morphological characters for six species among the ten Anabaena species tested.

Keywords : Cyanobacteria, Anabaena, Fatty acids, Morphological Heterogeneity.