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I have just taken some images with my light microscope at 400x of (what I think is) some form of filamentous algae from a local pond.

Now, I think I am looking at a single cell (centre) with some sort of arrangement of chloroplasts. Is this correct? Can anyone give me some more information on these structures?

I also have included a higher-constrast image of the specimen.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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beautiful micrographs! the chloroplast(s) look filamentous. – shigeta Oct 26 '12 at 13:35
thanks @shigeta. I currently don't have a camera attachment so I had to hold my SLR up against the eyepiece! – Poshpaws Oct 26 '12 at 13:59

It looks indeed like a Spirogyra, or at least a member of the Zygnematales. And yes, the green things are the chloroplasts (or one long chloroplast?), and they are arranged in spiral.

The "empty" space in the middle is likely the nucleus, and the darker circles within the chloroplast(s) could be the starch accumulated at the periphery of pyrenoids.

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Spirogyra. Apologies for the terse answer, but I think it does qualify.

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also the name of a pop-jazz band of the 80s. – shigeta Oct 26 '12 at 17:08
...and a 70s UK prog rock band before that! – Alan Boyd Oct 26 '12 at 17:40
ha no that's the one - i'm only remembering it from my uncles record collection, not from personal experience. it was so progressive it didnt' sound like rock to me! – shigeta Oct 26 '12 at 17:41
Further research reveals that they are now classed as " acid folk" which, as far as I recall, didn't exist as a genre back then. That's probably what confused you. – Alan Boyd Oct 26 '12 at 18:25
pond slime to 70's rock - i love it. – Poshpaws Oct 26 '12 at 21:42

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