Correspondence between phylogeny and morphology of Snowella spp. and Woronichinia naegeliana, cyanobacteria commonly occurring in lakes

Pirjo Rajaniemi, Anne Rantala, Maria A Mugnai, Silvia Turicchia, Stefano Ventura, Jarka Komarkova, Liisa Lepistö, Kaarina Sivonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this study, the first reported isolates of the genera Snowella and Woronichinia were characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and morphological analysis. Phylogenetic studies and sequences for these genera were not available previously. By botanical criteria, the five isolated strains were identified as Snowella litoralis (Hayren) Komarek et Hindak Snowella rosea (Snow) Elenkin and Woronichinia naegeliana (Unger) Elenkin. This study underlines the identification of freshly isolated cultures, since the Snowella strains lost the colony structure and were not identifiable after extended laboratory cultivation. In the 16S rRNA gene analysis, the Snowella strains formed a monophyletic cluster, which was most closely related to the Woronichinia strain. Thus, our results show that the morphology of the genera Snowella and Woronichinia was in congruence with their phylogeny, and their phylogeny seems to support the traditional botanical classification of these genera. Furthermore, the genera Snowella and Woronichinia occurred commonly and might occasionally be the most abundant cyanobacterial taxa in mainly oligotrophic and mesotrophic Finnish lakes. Woronichinia occurred frequently and also formed blooms in eutrophic Czech reservoirs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Cyanobacteria
  • morphology
  • phylogeny
  • taxonomy
  • 118 Biological sciences

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