Hydrurus foetidus, a large freshwater representative of the Chromalveolate clade

Little is known about the freshwater algae Hydrurus foetidus. This project seeks to unravel some of the questions regarding its size and plasticity.

About the project

Hydrurus foetidus (Vill.) Trev. 1843 is a multicellular, arbuscular representative of the golden algae, appearing seasonally in cold rivers, typically in early spring season during snowmelt. The thallus may reach considerable dimensions, but under natural conditions a length of 3-10 cm is typical. This alga has a long history of scientific attention, because its size and morphological plasticity do not fit in among the typical golden algae – and the fragility of the thallus have resisted any attempt of bringing it into culture in liquid media, since Rostafinski first tried in 1882.

A molecular phylogeny has alredy been constructed based upon partial 18S and 28S rDNA sequences, without a definitive location among the chrysophytes – but securely located among the latter. We have solved the basic problems with culturing, but there remains a lot of thinking to design experimental conditions for the laboratory study of this obligate psychrophilic rheophile (= low-temperature and highturbulence-dependent organism).


  1.  Clear up the molecular phylogeny of a strain from Finse
  2.  Collect and publish all information on Hydrurus from Norway
  3.  Critically go through all published records of this sp. worlwide
  4.  Based upon environmental information, bring a strain into culture
  5.  Study the evolutionary conditioned plasticity expressed under different culture conditions


Tags: freshwater algae, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Phylogeny
Published Apr. 19, 2017 4:30 PM - Last modified Apr. 19, 2017 4:30 PM


Detailed list of participants