Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima

Arthrospira Plantesis -Spirulina under the microscope

The two main Arthrospira species

Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima, two species of cyanobacteria, are more than just microscopic organisms. They’re the superstars of the dietary supplement world, known as spirulina. This short guide will take you on a journey through their fascinating world, from their unique helical structure to their impressive nutritional profile.

Get ready to explore their taxonomy, occurrence, and why they’re so important for our health and well-being. Let’s embark on this exciting adventure!”

Short Summary:

  1. Taxonomy: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima are part of the Arthrospira genus, previously classified as Spirulina. Despite the taxonomical confusion, it’s now accepted that this is a distinct genus with over 30 species.
  2. Morphology: These cyanobacteria are characterized by their unique helical trichomes. The helical parameters of Arthrospira are used to differentiate between and even within the same species.
  3. Biochemical Composition: They’re rich in proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. They’re a powerhouse of nutrition with 53 to 68 per cent protein by dry weight.
  4. Occurrence: They’re found in alkaline brackish and saline waters in tropical and subtropical regions. A. Platensis is mainly found in Africa and Asia, while A. Maxima is believed to be found in California and Mexico.
  5. Dietary Supplement: Both species are used to produce spirulina, a popular dietary supplement. Spirulina is celebrated for its health benefits, from boosting the immune system to improving gut health.

Exploring the microalga: Nature’s Nutrient Powerhouse

Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima are two types of cyanobacteria, which are a kind of bacteria that can photosynthesize like plants. They’re part of the Arthrospira genus, which includes about 35 different species. These bacteria are unique because of their spiral shape, which can vary a lot even within the same species.

You might have heard of these bacteria because they’re used to make spirulina, a dietary supplement that’s packed with nutrients. In fact, these bacteria are super rich in proteins, making up 53 to 68 per cent of their dry weight. They also contain good fats known as polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and pigments that help them photosynthesize.

In tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, these bacteria thrive in alkaline waters. A. Platensis predominates in Africa, Asia, and South America, while A. Maxima prevails in Central America.

Comparison table for Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima

  Arthrospira platensis Arthrospira maxima
Scientific Classification Belongs to the genus Arthrospira, a type of free-floating filamentous cyanobacteria Same as A. platensis
Species One of the 35 species of the genus Arthrospira Same as A. platensis
Dietary Supplement Used to make a dietary supplement known as spirulina Same as A. platensis
Taxonomy Once classified in the genus Spirulina. Now generally accepted as a distinct species within the genus Arthrospira Same as A. platensis
Morphology Comprises helical trichomes of varying size and with various degrees of coiling Same as A. platensis
Biochemical Composition Rich in proteins (53 to 68 percent by dry weight), contains high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), vitamins, minerals, and photosynthetic pigments Same as A. platensis
Occurrence Found in alkaline brackish and saline waters in tropical and subtropicalregions. Mainly found in Africa, but also in Asia Found in alkaline brackish and saline waters in tropical and subtropical regions. Believed to be found in California and Mexico
Kingdom Bacteria Same as A. platensis
Phylum Cyanobacteria (blue-green bacteria) Same as A. platensis
Order Oscillatoriales Same as A. platensis
Family Pseudanabaenaceae Same as A. platensis
Genus Spirulina Same as A. platensis
Species Authority (Nordstedt) Geitler (Setchell & Gardner) Geitler

Bibliography:

Wolfram Alpha LLC (2023) ‘Arthrospira platensis’, Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Intelligence.
Available at: https://www.wolframalpha.com/input?i=Arthrospira+platensis
(Accessed: ‘Thu 8 Jun 2023’).

Wolfram Alpha LLC (2023) ‘Arthrospira maxima’, Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Intelligence.
Available at: https://www.wolframalpha.com/input?i=Arthrospira+maxima
(Accessed: ‘Thu 8 Jun 2023’).

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