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29. Investigating Protista > Procedure VIII-1-1: Observing Spirogyrae

Procedure VIII-1-1: Observing Spirogyrae

Spirogyra is immediately recognizable as thin green unbranched filaments made up of a line of individual square or rectangular cells butted end-to-end. Most of the cellular features of Spirogyra are easily observed at low to moderate magnification and without staining. Begin at low magnification, and increase magnification as necessary to observe details of all of the features. As you observe your live and mounted specimens, look for the following features:

  • Cell wall – Spirogyra actually has a double cell wall. The outer layer is made up of pectin, which when wet forms a slimy gel. The inner layer, made up of cellulose, remains rigid even when wet. In live specimens, you’ll probably see only a single wall. In prepared slides, particularly if they are stained, the outer pectin wall may also be visible.


  

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