Genus: Dolichospermum (a.k.a. Anabaena)
Cyanobacteria (blue green algae)
Dolichospermum used to be in the Anabaena genus. Dolichospermum cells connect end-to-end to form filaments that look like a pearl necklace. The filaments can be straight, coiled, long and curved, or form large colonies with many filaments twisted together. Dolichospermum is a nitrogen-fixing taxon and you will see the heterocyst in a few colonies (the cells that lack color). Dolichospermum also forms akinetes, which are larger oval cells that function as a resting spore. Dolichospermum is a scum forming cyanobacteria capable of producing many types of cyanotoxins, although Dolichospermum in Lake Erie is not known to produce microcystins.