The Cyanobacteria and Their Taxonomy

After Rippka et al. (1979)

See also the older taxonomic scheme based on Stanier 1977

Rippka divides the cyanobacteria into five sections. She describes her first two sections, I and II, as "Unicellular; cells single or forming colonial aggregates held together by additional outer cell wall layers". Her other three sections, III to V, she describes as "Filamentous; a trichome (chain of cells) which grows by intercalary cell division".

The paper by Rippka et al. 1979 contains many micrographs of cell morphologies typical of these genera.

SECTION I (Unicellular)

Unicellular cyanobacteria that reproduce by binary fission or by budding

unicellular cyanobacteria with cylindrical to ovoid cells that reproduce by binary transverse fission
Synechococcus Nageli 1849

Gloeothece Nageli 1849

Gloeobacter Rippka, Waterbury & Cohen-Bazire 1974

unicellular cyanobacteria with spherical cells that divide in two or three successive planes at right angles to one another
Synechocystis Sauvageau 1892

Gloeocapsa Kutzing 1843

unicellular cyanobacteria that reproduce by forming successive spherical buds from one pole of the ovoid cell
Chamaesiphon Braun & Grunow 1895 emend. Geitler 1925

SECTION II (Unicellular)

Unicellular cyanobacteria that reproduce by multiple fission

reproduction only by multiple fission
Dermocarpa Crouan & Crouan 1858

Xenococcus Thuret 1880

reproduction by both binary fission and multiple fission
Dermocarpella Lemmermann 1907

Myxosarcina Printz 1921

Chroococcidiopsis Geitler 1933

Pleurocapsa group

SECTION III (Filamentous)

Filamentous non-heterocystous cyanobacteria that divide in only one plane

trichome helical
Spirulina Turpin 1827

trichome straight
Oscillatoria Vaucher 1803

LPP group A

Pseudoanabaena Lauterborn 1915

LPP group B

SECTION IV (Filamentous)

Filamentous heterocystous cyanobacteria that divide in only one plane

reproduction by random trichome breakage; some germinate from akinetes; trichomes indistinguishable from mature vegatative trichomes
Anabaena Bory de St Vincent 1822

Nodularia Mertens 1822

Cylindrospermum Kutzing 1843

reproduction by random trichome breakage; some germinate from akinetes; form hormogonia distinguishable from mature trichomes by absence of heterocysts and one or more of the following characters: rapid gliding motility, smaller cell size, cell shape and gas vacuolation
Nostoc Vaucher 1803

Scytonema Agardh 1824

Calothrix Agardh 1824

SECTION V (Filamentous)

Filamentous heterocystous cyanobacteria that divide in more than one plane

reproduction by random trichome breakage, by formation of hormogonia and (if produced) by germination of akinetes
Chlorogloeopsis Mitra & Pandey 1966

Fischerella Gomont 1895

References

Rippka, Rosmarie, Josette Deruelles, John B. Waterbury, Michael Herdman & Roger Y. Stanier (1979). Generic Assignments, Strain Histories and Properties of Pure Cultures of Cyanobacteria. Journal of General Microbiology Vol. 111 p. 1-61
Inherited from Cyanolab (now off-line) as prepared by Jon Moulton.