Modern term for the blue green algae, prokaryotic cells that use chlorophyll on intracytoplasmic membranes for photosynthesis. The blue green colour is due to the presence of phycobiliproteins. Found as single cells, colonies or simple filaments. In Anabaena, in which the cells are arranged as a filament, heterocysts capable of nitrogen fixation occur at regular intervals. According to the endosymbiont theory Cyanobacteria are the progenitors of chloroplasts.
This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology
(11 Mar 2008)
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