Volvox carteri

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FIGURE 1. Variations of Volvox aureus morphology under UV light.

Higher Order Taxa

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Viridiplantae

Phylum: Chlorophyta

Class: Chlorophyceae

Order: Chlamydomonadales

Family: Volvocaceae


Volvox aureus

NCBI: [1]

Description and Significance

Volvox aureus, more commonly known as green algae, was first identified by Dutch businessman and scientist Antoine van Leeuwenhoek in 1700 (5).

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why you think it is important.

Genome Structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence?

Cell Structure, Metabolism and Life Cycle

Interesting features of cell structure; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.

FIGURE 2. Cytoplasmic bridges between cells of Volvox aureus, magnified 40x (3).

One of the unique features of V. aureus is the microscopic cytoplasmic bridges that connect the individual cells of the parent colonies. These bridges originate from incomplete cell division during cytokinesis and can only been seen under electon microscopes (1).



Habitat; symbiosis; biogeochemical significance; contributions to environment.
If relevant, how does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.


(1) Bisalputra, T. and Stein, J.R. “The Development of Cytoplasmic Bridges in Volvox aureus.” Canadian Journal of Botany. 1996. p. 1697-1702.

(2) Kirk, D.L., Birchem, R., and King, N. “The Extracellular Matrix of Volvox: A Comparative Study and Proposed System of Nomenclature.” Journal of Cell Sciences. 1986. Volume 80. p. 207-231.

(3) Lotha, G., Petruzzello, M., Promeet, D., and Rimsa, C. "Volvox: Genus of Green Algae." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2016.

(4) Tucker, R.G. and Darden, W.H. “Nucleic Acid Synthesis during the Vegetative Life Cycle of Volvox aureus M5.” Archaeological Microbiology. 1972. Volume 84. p. 87-94.

(5) Van Leeuwenhoek, A. "Part of a letter from Mr Antony Van Leeuwenhoek, concerning the worms in Sheeps livers, Gnats and animalcula in the excrements of Frogs." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 1701. Volume 22. p. 509-518.


Page authored by Madison Fiegl and JD French, students of Prof. Jay Lennon at Indiana University.