Occurrence and Growth Characteristics of Algae Isolated From Shallow Wells, Deep Wells, and Springs in Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri

Date of Graduation

Summer 1988


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Russell Rhodes


Water samples obtained from wells and springs in Greene County, near Springfield, Missouri, and in Carroll County, near Green Forest, Arkansas, areas were obtained and examined for the presence of algae. Algae were found to be present in twenty-three of the thirty-six sampled wells and springs; most prominent were Chlorella, Stichococcus, and Scenedesmus, but thirty-seven genera of algae were found, including eleven genera of diatoms and six genera of blue-green algae. Selected strains of algae from these wells were used in an investigation of heterotrophy. These strains were cultured in media supplemented with mannitol, glucose, fructose, and sucrose to see which substrate or substrates best supported heterotrophic growth of the algae. Of the substrates tested, glucose and fructose supported growth in the dark most readily, and mannitol was found to be the substrate least likely to support heterotrophic growth of all of the substrates tested. Two amino acids (glycine and asparagine) and sodium acetate were also tested for the ability to support heterotrophic growth, and all three supported the growth of algae in darkness. This study demonstrated the presence of algae in well water and their ability to show growth in the dark if a carbon source is present in the medium.

Subject Categories



© Jon D Noelker