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The halotolerant green single-celled Asteromonas gracilis isolated from the hypersaline saltern ponds of Messolonghi, Greece, was kept in laboratory cultures, grown effectively at various salinities and used for feeding rotifers, protozoa, copepods and Artemia sp. In all feeding trials all filter feeders accepted A. gracilis and grew. Additionally, as of its morphology, movement and culture reliability Asteromonas is a valuable teaching tool for phycological studies, supreme to the other usual microalgae for this purpose. The exploitation potential of A. gracilis in many sectors awaits research results, as literature data are scarce.
The culture of A. gracilis is easy as cultures are not collapsed easily and remain viable for long time ready to rejuvenate due to its dormant cysts that have been accumulated on the bottom of old culture's vessel.
A. gracilis can be an excellent teaching tool in phycological courses because of its big vividly green colored cell, slow moving, rotating and vibrating that result in a fascinating easily observable microscopy material.
Along with Dunaliella sp. comprises one of few microalgae, which are representatives for studies in hypersalinity.
The author thanks heartily Despina Avramidou, ichthyologist technical staff of the laboratory for her restless efforts in helping to collect the specimens and for taking care of the laboratory cultures.
Author has declared that no competing interests exist.
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