Why is Oscillatoria green?

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Why is Oscillatoria green?

Oscillatoria is the name of the genus in the group of cyanobacteria that are filamentous in shape. The name Oscillatoria has come based on its type of locomotion which is oscillation. The Oscillatoria filaments can move to the front and backwards until the total mass is directed towards the light source. Oscillatoria is considered as blue-green algae or brown-green algae. It is present on watering troughs, damp places, and in stagnant water. Fragmentation is its main method of reproduction. Oscillatoria is a slender collection of cells which gets broken or fragmented as small filaments known as hormogonia. Hormogonia are useful for its vegetative reproduction. The long filaments are generally broken due to the death of the cells.

Oscillatoria is blue green algae and consists of photosynthetic pigments which aid in performing the photosynthetic process. Oscillatoria is called as oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria and blue green algae are otherwise called as cyanobacteria. Oscillatoria can also carry out an-oxygenic photosynthesis. The organism consists of straight unbranched filament of vegetative cells. Each of the cells comprise of gas vacuoles and chlorophyll a. Due to the presence of chlorophyll a pigment, it appears green in color. The chlorophyll pigment will absorb all other wavelengths in the light except green color. Hence, it appears in green color by reflecting green light. The presence of this green pigment will render Oscillatoria also green color. The other blue pigment present along with chlorophyll a is phycocyanin. These two pigments make this organism to appear as blue-green. Some species of Oscillatoria have red or pink pigment called phycoerythrin which imparts red color. They are classified as red-green algae which are mostly available in the Red Sea. They also contain carotenoids like echinone and myxoxanthophyll. In order to survive and reproduce, Oscillatoria has chlorophyll a pigment to carry out photosynthesis. Hence, Oscillatoria appears as green.

Author: Hari M

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