The key difference between nostoc and oscillatoria is that nostoc is a filamentous cyanobacterium that shows gliding movement, while oscillatoria is a filamentous cyanobacterium that shows oscillatory movement.
Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic, unicellular, and photoautotrophic organisms. Because of their ubiquitous nature, they can endure all environmental conditions as well as rapid changes. Cyanobacteria are often called blue-green algae. They are normally microscopic and found in all types of water, such as fresh, brackish, and marine water. Moreover, these organisms use sunlight to make their own food. Nostoc and Oscillatoria are two genera of filamentous cyanobacteria.
What is Nostoc?
Nostoc is a filamentous cyanobacterium that shows gliding movement. It is found in various environments. Nostoc forms colonies composed of filaments of moniliform cells. These cells are in a gelatinous sheath. The name Nostoc was coined by Paracelsus, who was a Swiss alchemist. Nostoc normally can be found in soil, moist rocks, bottom of lakes, bottom of springs, and in marine habitats (rarely). Sometimes, it may also grow symbiotically within the tissues of plants. It provides nitrogen to host-like plants through the action of N2 fixation by terminally differentiated cells called heterocysts.
These cyanobacteria contain photosynthetic pigments in their cytoplasm. Through photosynthetic pigments, they make their own food. When the Nostoc is in the ground, it is not conspicuous. But after rain, it swells up into a conspicuous jelly mass, so it was once thought to have fallen from the sky and gained popular names such as star jelly, troll’s butter, witch’s butter or witch’s jelly. Furthermore, Nostoc species contain proteins and vitamin C. Therefore, Nostoc species are cultivated and consumed primarily in Asian countries like China.
What is Oscillatoria?
Oscillatoria is a filamentous cyanobacterium that shows oscillatory movement. In fact, it is named after its oscillation movement. In the oscillation movement, the filaments in the colonies slide back and forth against each other. This happens until the whole mass is reoriented to its light source. Oscillatoria normally lives in watering troughs waters. It is typically blue-green or brown-green in colour. Oscillatoria is an organism that reproduces through fragmentation. It forms long filaments of cells that break into fragments. These fragments are called hormogonia. Hormogonia can grow into new, longer filaments. This whole process occurs in freshwater ponds.
Oscillatoria uses photosynthesis to survive. Each filament of Oscillatoria consists of a trichome. Trichome consists of a row of cells. Moreover, the trichome can oscillate like a pendulum. Oscillatoria uses in the natural production of butylated hydroxytoluene (BTH). BTH is an antioxidant. In addition, it is also used as a food additive and industrial chemical.
What are the Similarities Between Nostoc and Oscillatoria?
- Nostoc and Oscillatoria are two genera of filamentous cyanobacteria.
- Both are prokaryotic organisms.
- They can make their own food through photosynthesis.
- Both can fix atmospheric N2.
- They are both living in the water.
- Both reproduce asexually.
What is the Difference Between Nostoc and Oscillatoria?
Nostoc is a genus of filamentous cyanobacteria that shows gliding movement. Oscillatoria is a genus of filamentous cyanobacteria that shows oscillatory movement. Thus, this is the key difference between nostoc and oscillatoria. Furthermore, Nostoc has heterocysts while oscillatoria does not have heterocysts.
The below infographic lists the differences between nostoc and oscillatoria in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Nostoc vs Oscillatoria
Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic, unicellular, and photoautotrophic organisms. Nostoc and Oscillatoria are two genera of filamentous cyanobacteria. Nostoc shows gliding movement while oscillatoria shows oscillatory movement. Thus, this is the key difference between nostoc and oscillatoria.