Category: Uses of nostoc

Uses of nostoc

Nostoc commune var. Nostoc commune is a species of cyanobacterium in the family Nostocaceae. Common names include star jellywitch's buttermare's eggsfah-tsai and facai.

It is the type species of the genus Nostoc and is cosmopolitan in distribution. Nostoc commune is a colonial species of cyanobacterium. It initially forms a small, hollow gelatinous globule which grows and becomes leathery, flattened and convoluted, forming a gelatinous mass with other colonies growing nearby. Inside the thin sheath are numerous unbranched hair-like structures called trichomes formed of short cells in a string. The cells are bacteria and thus have no nucleus nor internal membrane system.

To multiply, they form two new cells when they divide by binary fission.

Along the trichomes, larger specialist nitrogen-fixing cells called heterocysts occur between the ordinary cells. When wet, Nostoc commune is bluish-green, olive green or brown but in dry conditions it becomes an inconspicuous, crisp brownish mat. Nostoc commune is found in many countries around the world. It is able to survive in extreme conditions in polar regions and arid areas. It is a terrestrial or freshwater species and forms loose clumps on soil, gravel and paved surfaces, among mosses and between cobbles.

Nostoc commune can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and can therefore live in locations where no nitrogenous compounds are available from the substrate. Nostoc commune contains photosynthetic pigments and the energy storing photosystems in membrane structures called thylakoids located in cytoplasm of the cells.

It also contains pigments that absorb long and medium wavelength ultraviolet radiation, which enables it to survive in places with high levels of radiation.

Under adverse conditions, Nostoc commune can remain dormant for an extended period of time and revive when conditions improve and water becomes available. The desiccated colony is resistant to heat and to repeated patterns of freezing and thawing and produces no oxygen while dormant.

Nostoc commune can occur in pockets in the thallus of hornworts such as Phaeoceros. Nostoc commune is eaten as a salad in the Philippines and is also eaten in Indonesia, Japan and China. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.

uses of nostoc

Archived from the original on Nostocgenus of blue-green algae with cells arranged in beadlike chains that are grouped together in a gelatinous mass. Ranging from microscopic to walnut-sized, masses of Nostoc may be found on soil and floating in quiet water.

Reproduction is by fragmentation. A special thick-walled cell akinete has the ability to withstand desiccation for long periods of time. After 70 years of dry storage, the akinete of one species germinates into a filament when moistened. Like most blue-green algae, Nostoc contains two pigments, blue phycocyanin and red phycoerythrin, as well as chlorophyll, and has the ability to fix nitrogen in specialized cells called heterocysts.

A terrestrial species has been used as a supplementary food source in Asia. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History. This article was most recently revised and updated by Charly Rimsa, Research Editor.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About.Nostoc is a dark blue-green, jelly-like organism sometimes found in soggy home lawns.

The Nostoc is likely filling in space where the grass does not grow. The top photo of Nostoc taken on an overcast day is showing approximately half of the potential size of the colony. While the lower picture, taken on a sunny day shows the same Nostoc colony in a black crust state.

Nostoc is not an alien lifeform, nor is it a plant, algae, or bacterium. Instead, Nostoc is a cyanobacterium. Cyanobacteria are like bacteria in that they are microscopic, single-celled organisms that contain no cell nucleus.

Nostoc cyanobacteria form single-celled threadlike structures called filaments. These filaments often form colonies, which are held together by a jelly-like covering and are large enough to be seen by the naked eye. Cyanobacteria differ from bacteria in that bacteria primarily rely on outside food sources for carbon and energy, while cyanobacteria produce their food carbohydrates through photosynthesis. Like plants, cyanobacteria produce chlorophyll, the green pigment used to capture sunlight.

Cyanobacteria also produce a blue pigment called phycocyanin that captures sunlight under low light conditions. There are both saltwater and freshwater species, as well as terrestrial species. Nostoc produces a protective coating that allows it to live under extreme conditions of drought and flooding, as well as high and low temperatures. Some species of Nostoc are capable of withstanding freezing and thawing cycles, which allows them to live in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Just as Nostoc performs photosynthesis, it also carries out another unique activity often associated with leguminous plants.

This process is known as nitrogen fixation. All organisms use nitrogen to make amino acids, proteins, and other building blocks necessary for life.

First, nitrogen must be changed into an ammonia form NH 3 to be utilized. Whereas legumes partner with rhizobia bacteria in the soil to fix nitrogen, Nostoc colonies produce specialized nitrogen-fixing cells called heterocysts. Heterocysts are larger cyanobacteria cells that do not photosynthesize.

Instead, they fix nitrogen from the air into a form that is supplied to the other cyanobacteria cells. Meanwhile, the cyanobacteria cells that photosynthesize provide the heterocysts with carbohydrates for food. Overall, Nostoc contributes a much smaller amount of nitrogen to the surrounding environment at only 5 pounds of nitrogen per year as compared to the twenty-five to several hundred pounds added by legumes.

Though this small amount of nitrogen does not amount to much for most cultivated crops, this is plenty of nitrogen for a natural ecosystem.

Interestingly, rice is one crop that may benefit from the nitrogen fixation by Nostoc. Due to its ability to live in extremely moist habitats, Nostoc is often abundant in paddy production of rice.

Finding Nostoc in the home landscape is often alarming to the homeowner. However, the cyanobacteria have likely been there all along as a black, shriveled crust just waiting for enough moisture to resume their jelly-like consistency. Nostoc does not harm lawn or landscape plants. Instead, the organism is merely filling in space where grass or other plants will not grow, such as areas with compacted soil, excessive moisture, and high soil phosphorus levels.

It may also form on wet concrete or gravel sidewalks, causing a slipping hazard if not managed. To control small patches, skim Nostoc from walkways or the soil surface with a flat-edged shovel. However, more drastic action is often needed to manage larger areas.A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Nostoc. Nostoc calcicola, N.

uses of nostoc

Nostoc is a diverse genus of cyanobacteria. They are found in gelatinous colonies, composed of filaments called "trichomes" surrounded by a thin sheath. They are common in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. These organisms are known for their unusual ability to lie dormant for long periods of time and abruptly recover metabolic activity when rehydrated with liquid water.

The bacteria's ability to withstand freezing and thawing cycles make them well-adapted to living in extreme environments, such as the Arctic and Antarctica. They can fix atmospheric nitrogen, making them good candidates for environments with low nitrogen rates.

uses of nostoc

Nostocfirst discovered in the 19th century, is one of the most widespread phototrophic bacteria in the world. As a nitrogen fixer, these bacteria may provide plants with important nutrients and therefore can be used agriculturally. This protective pigment has enabled them to survive not only while under hydration-related stress, but in areas of extreme UV radiation as well.

Nostoc' s genetics are worth studying because of the genus' unique adaptations which allow them to survive and even thrive in extreme environments. Also, a better understanding of soil-dwelling nitrogen fixers such as Nostoc may help advance fertilizer production and benefit agriculturalists. Nostocs are photosynthesizers which use cytoplasmic photosynthetic pigments rather than chloroplasts in their metabolic process. The cells do not possess flagella, but are motile by a swaying motion.

Division is by binary fission; some branching may occur. The cells form filamentous structures known as trichomes, which in turn make up colonies encased by a thin sheath; these colonies may be mat-like or spherical and are either micro- or macroscopic--spherical colonies may reach sizes of up to 2. Nostoc environments are diverse and widespread over the globe; isolates have been found in fresh water, soils, and both extremely cold and extremely arid habitats. Their role as a nitrogen fixer in terrestrial ecosystems allow them to maintain symbiotic interactions with organisms including fungi, lichen, mosses, and ferns.

They are largely protected from predation by their outer sheath covering and the large size of their colonies, which make them difficult for some algivores to ingest. Some types of Nostoc are edible, and are even considered delicacies in some regions; in China during holidays a black hairlike vegetative species, Nostoc flagelliforme or "fat choy", are consumed. However, these algae can also cause problems for humans by growth on sport turf and buildings, and can lead to unpleasant odors in drinking water.

Some phenolic extracts from Nostoc are known as human pathogen inhibitors, and may in the future be valuable to scientists medicinally. Very rarely Nostoc have been found to be symbionts of terrestrial plants, such as species which colonize the root nodules of Hawaiian cycad Gunnera genus.

Dodds, Walter K. The Ecology of Nostoc. Journal of Phycology vol 33 1 February Ehling-Schultz, Monika et al. Journal of Bacteriology vol 6 March James, Paul. Nikon Microscopy. Scherer, S. Plant Physiology vol 88 Webb, David T. Cycad Root Nodules.

Botany Department, University of Hawai'i at Manoa. From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource. Jump to: navigationsearch. This is a curated page. Report corrections to Microbewiki.Nostoc is a genus of cyanobacteria found in various environments that forms colonies composed of filaments of moniliform cells in a gelatinous sheath.

The name Nostoc was coined by Paracelsus. Nostoc can be found in soilon moist rocks, at the bottom of lakes and springs both fresh- and saltwaterand rarely in marine habitats. It may also grow symbiotically within the tissues of plantssuch as the evolutionarily ancient angiosperm Gunnera [2] and the hornworts a group of bryophytesproviding nitrogen to its host through the action of terminally differentiated cells known as heterocysts.

These bacteria contain photosynthetic pigments in their cytoplasm to perform photosynthesis. Nostoc is a member of the family Nostocaceae of the order Nostocales. Species include:. Containing protein and vitamin C[5] Nostoc species are cultivated and consumed as a foodstuff, primarily in Asia.

The species N. The preferred variety in Central Asia is N. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Genus of cyanobacteria found in various environments that forms colonies composed of filaments of moniliform cells in a gelatinous sheath.

See also: Fat choy. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. Archived PDF from the original on Retrieved New Survey of Clare Island. Volume 6: The Freshwater and Terrestrial Algae. Royal Irish Academy. European Journal of Phycology. In Lembi, C. Algae and human affairs. Eat The Weeds and other things, too.

uses of nostoc

Archived from the original on Categories : Nostocaceae Cyanobacteria genera. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Articles with long short description Short description is different from Wikidata Articles with 'species' microformats.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons Wikispecies. Nostoc commune. Nostoc Vaucher,ex Bornet and Flahaul. Wood, Nostoc belmonticum C.True: it's not as morale-beating as WhatsApp's blue ticks, but it will still give you a complex over why it's taking over 42 minutes for your other half to reply.

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