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Taxonomy of the ‘Selenastrum capricornutum’ used in bioassay

 NIVA-CHL 1 was given the name Selenastrum capricornutum. This strain has been widely used in bioassay and may be found in various culture collections. Certain other strains (e.g. see Nygaard, Komarek et al. p.31) are considered to be the same as NIVA-CHL 1. Lists of algal cultures in The World Catalogue of Algae (Miyachi, S., Nakayama, O. et al. (1989 p. 217) show 25 cultured strains under the name of S. capricornutum.

According to Nygaard, Komarek et al. ((1986)1987), this alga does not belong to the genus Selenastrum but to Raphidocelis Hindak 1977 and is named by them as R. subcapitata (Korsh.) Nygaard, Komarek et al. The synonymy of this species is as follows:

Ankistrodesmus subcapitata Korshikov 1953

Kirchneriella subcapitata Korshikov 1953

The Selenastrum capricornutum Printz of Skulberg 1964 and many others (i.e. not as Printz 1914)

Hindak (1988) made Kirchneriella subcapitata Korshikov the type species of his new genus Kirchneria.

By 1990 Hindak had learnt that the name Kirchneria had already been used for two other plants and changed it to Pseudokirchneriella Hindak. Therefore it appears that the correct name for NIVA-CHL 1 is: Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (Korshikov) Hindak.


Hindak, F. 1977 (Biologicke Prace, 23 (4), 190pp); 1988 (Biologicke Prace, 34 (1-2), p. 216); 1990 (Biologicke Prace, 5, p.209)

Korshikov, O.A. 1953 (Pidklas Protokokovi (Protococcineae Bakyol'ni (Vacuolales) ta Protokokovi (Protococcales). Viznachnik prisnovodnihk vodorostey Ukrainsykoi RSR. V/Kiev, Vid. Akad. Nauk Ukr. RSR, 489pp

English translation by Lund, J.W.G. & Tylka, W., 1987 (Korshikov, O.A. 1987: The Freshwater Algae of the Ukrainian SSR. V. Sub-Class Protococcineae Vacuolales and Protococcales. Dehra Dun, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh and Koeltz Scientific Books, 412pp)

Miyachi, S., Nakayama, O. et al. (1989) (World Catalogue of Algae, 2nd edition, Tokyo, Japan Scientific Societies Press, 329pp)

Nygaard, G., Komarek, J. et al. (1986) 1987 (Opera Botanica 90, 46pp)

Printz, H. 1914 (Vidensk. Skr. 1. Mat.-Nat. Klasse, 1913, no. 6, 1-123 & pl. 1-7

If anyone can add to this information, we would be very pleased to hear from you!

J.W.G. Lund