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Al-Thukair & Golubić, 1991

New endolithic cyanobacteria from the Arabian Gulf. I. Hyella immanis sp. nov

Al-Thukair, A. A., Golubić, S.
JournalJournal of Phycology
Typearticle in journal


Hyella immanis, a new species of endolithic cyanobacterium that penetrates carbonate ooid sand grains in the Arabian/Persian Gulf, is formally described. Natural populations of the new taxon were sampled in moving ooid shoals at four locations along the east coast of Saudi Arabia, together with seven other endolithic taxa. The new species was isolated, and its properties were studied under experimental conditions. Small reproductive cells (baeocytes) exhibited positively phototactic gliding motility following release. In culture they grew into colonies forming isodiametric packages (prevalent on agar) and distinct pseudofilaments (prevalent in liquid culture). Carbonate penetration of the cultured strain in liquid culture proceeded at a rate of up to 10 μ· d−1. Agitation of cultures with magnetic stirrers enhanced the frequency of borings and the initial boring rates, but it had no effect on the continuing boring activity. A fossil counterpart of the new species was identified in Upper Proterozoic (700–800 million years old) silicified oolitic and pisolitic rocks of East Greenland.

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