Chlamydomonas reinhardtii


Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Protista
Division Chlorophyta
Class Chlorophyceae
Order Volvocales
Family Chlamydomonadaceae
Genus Chlamydomonas
Species Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Description and Characteristics

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a green, single-celled, algae with 2 flagella. C. reinhardtii is typically shperical in shape and the cells are approximately 7 - 10 μm in size.


Culturing Conditions

Environment Fresh water
Temperature 18º - 24º C / 64.4º - 75.2º F (optimum temperature ~20º C / 68º F
Ph 6.0 - 7.0
Salinity (ppm) 0
Illumination ~ 1,000 - 5,000 Lux1

1 1000 lux = 1000 Lumens / square meter and a traditional 75-watt incandescent light bulb produces about 1200 lumens.

Suitable Mediums

  • Proteose Medium
  • P49 Medium
  • Soil Extract Medium
  • Modified Bold 3N Medium
  • Modified Guillard's f/2 Medium

Adding Acetate to the medium may increase growth rate when combined with a light source and can be used as an energy source if the culture is grown in a dark environment. The addition of approximately 5% CO2 has been shown to improve overall growth rate in some tests.

Reproductive Cycle

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii reproduces sexually. The vegetative cell, when deprived of Nitrogen, will produce gametes. These gametes will then combine to form a non-flagellated zygote. This zygote will remain dormant until exposed to a light source. Once the zygote is exposed to light it will begin meiosis and release 4 flagellated cells. In some cases the cell may undergo multiple phases of mitosis which can result in up to 8 cells being produced.

Practical Applications


Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is known to switch from producing Oxygen (O2) to producing Hydrogen (H) when grown in an anaerobic environment. However, due to built-in “relief mechanism” in the cell this Hyrdrogen production will only persist for a few minutes at most. There is on-going research attempting to find a suitable means of extending this Hydrogen production phase to improve the viability of C. reinhardtii as a source of BioFuel energy.

Health and Nutrition

Other Applications




Sources and Citations

strains/chlamydomonas_reinhardtii.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/25 15:59 by algaedepot
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