Winner of Honorable Mention in Nikon’s Small World Competition of 2008.

A coiled, filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena is visualized via Nomarski differential interference contrast microscopy (600x). Anabaena is known for its nitrogen fixing abilities, and tends to form symbiotic relationships with certain aquatic plants. They are one of four genera of cyanobacteria that produce neurotoxins, which are harmful to local wildlife, as well as farm animals and pets. Production of these neurotoxins is assumed to be an input into its symbiotic relationships, protecting the plant from grazing pressure.

Image courtesy of Petr Znachor, Institute of Hydrobiology - Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic