is a genus
of green algae
consisting of more than 600 species
worldwide. Members of this genus live in ocean water
, and even snow
These algae are single-celled eukaryotic organisms ranging from 5 to 100 micrometers in length. They can be roughly spherical, egg-shaped, or elliptical. The majority of Chlamydomonas species swim through the action of two flagella on one side of their cell.
Most of the time, these algae are haploid and reproduce by dividing into two (binary fission); when they are stressed they can form gametes which fuse to form diploid cysts which later divide into four haploid cells.
Taxonomically, these algae have been classified under plants, animals, and protists. Several species from this genus are important model organisms for the study of cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, plant physiology, and biotechnology. The species most commonly used in laboratory research is Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.