All You Need to Know About Nostoc

Nostoc is a prokaryotic cyanobacterium that is responsible for performing photosynthesis. They commonly live in colonies in freshwater. On some other instances, they are also found to be living on rocks, attaching themselves to it, or even in the bottom of lakes. 

Other areas where nostoc algae are found are in the tree trunks. They are also common as algal components in the lichens. To fungus, they are an endosymbiont. Therefore, students have to study the details cautiously while preparing for their exam.

Classification of Nostoc

To understand nostoc, let us dig deeper into the same. For building the foundation of understanding nostoc, you have to know the scientific details of it. Scientists have thus classified nostoc in the following manner based on class, phylum, etc. 

Students Can Remember This Table to Prepare for Their Exam. It Will also Help You in Framing Answers That will Fetch You Higher Grades. 













Therefore, you can see that nostoc is classified under the group bacteria. As they are prokaryotic in nature, they do not have the cell membrane to bound the cell organelles. Herein, the genetic materials are simply carried in the cytoplasm. 

Structure of Nostoc

To understand the fundamental structure of nostoc, you can refer to the following nostoc diagram. It shows a green colour substance, which is round in shape, along with some irregular ones. 

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Now, study the following points so that you can avoid missing out on vital factors regarding nostoc. 

  • Nostocs are filamented in nature. In simple words, they have multiple filament-like structures coming out from their body surface. This, in turn, helps in forming colonies. 

  • The nostoc cells are generally round or oval in shape. They can also be cylindrical at times.

  • Some differentiated cells in nostoc are called heterocysts. These cells specifically aid in nitrogen fixation.

  • Colonies formed by nostocs vary based on size, shapes, and colours. They are noticeably greenish, but may also be bluish-green in colour. Besides, they are also red-brown or yellow-green in combination.

  • The cells of nostocs are thick-walled. These thick walls are due to the presence of peptidoglycan.

  • These cells also contain pigments of different kinds. For instance, they have chlorophyll, the green pigment that helps in performing photosynthesis. They also possess a blue pigment called phycocyanin and a red pigment called phycoerythrin.

  • The cytoplasm contains cell organelles and even a nucleus. It has the DNA which is void of histones.

Hence, all these features define nostocs. Now that you are aware of its structure make sure you are well-versed with every aspect of the same. For in-depth learning, let us look into some more topics related to nostoc.

Reproduction in Nostocs

The reproduction in nostocs can be classified into two types, meaning it can reproduce by two different methods. The first one is the asexual method of reproduction. Herein, it forms spores called akinetes and new colonies are created as a result.

Thus, it ends the initial life cycle of nostoc, which is then taken over by the newly formed nostocs. The process is called fragmentation, where small colonies get attached to larger ones. Later, these small colonies separate themselves and grow a new colony.

As already mentioned, nostocs have filaments, which break to form hormogonia. The gelatinous nature of the threads tends to remain even after splitting. After that, it creates new trichomes in the new colony.

Secondly, nostocs take help of heterocysts to reproduce. These heterocysts detach themselves from the nostoc and form new filaments. Likewise, a new colony of nostocs is created. 

Significance of Nostocs in Nature

By now, you have known about the structure and characteristics of nostocs. All of these combines to describe the importance of nostocs in the ecology. However, to make it easier for you to understand, here is a list for the same. 

  • Firstly, they contain chlorophyll, which means they are able to produce their own food.

  • Secondly, they help in nitrogen fixation, which is why they are planted in paddy fields. 

  • Thirdly, they are used as delicacies in certain regions as they are rich in Vitamin C.

  • They can produce hydrogen and convert carbon dioxide into biofuels.

  • Nostocs can be used for bioremediation of freshwater. They can also degrade the quality of pollutants. 

Thus, having discussed these points, it is evident that nostoc is quite a useful aspect in the environment. So, make sure you consider all the points listed above to score better in the exams. 

Nostoc is an integral part of the environment. Herein, you have to know about the structure, reproduction and the entire life cycle of the nostocs. Since each aspect has its challenges while studying, you should be careful in dealing with the same. 

Besides, to ensure you do not miss out on any vital topics related to nostoc algae, make notes while you study. Revise them regularly and identify any weaker sections or the ones that are hard to understand. Take professional assistance or seek help from your friends. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What do You Mean by Nostoc?

Ans. Nostoc is a prokaryotic bacteria cell that lives as a colony. It can perform photosynthesis due to the presence of chlorophyll. It also has other blue and red pigments. 

2. How do You Classify Nostoc?

Ans. Nostocs are classified under the group bacteria, phylum cyanobacteria, and genus nostoc.

3. What is the Structure of Nostoc?

Ans. The structure of nostoc is usually round or oval in shape. They may also be cylindrical in shape.

4. How does Nostoc Reproduce?

Ans. Nostoc reproduces asexually through spore formation called akinetes. These spores later germinate when they get favourable conditions. They may also reproduce by detaching the filament and forming new ones.