Home • Scenedesmus obliquus var. DOE0013 v1.0
Photo of Scenedesmus obliquus var. DOE0013 v1.0
Scenedesmus obliquus var. DOE0013 in liquid culture [Image courtesy of James Umen]

The coccoid green alga Scenedesmus obliquus (Turpin) Kützing belongs to the class of the Chlorophyceae and the order of the Sphaeropleales. The name of the genus Scenedesmus recently changed several times. This species is often synonymously referred to as Acutodesmus obliquus (Turpin) Hegewald and Hanagata, with the currently accepted name as Tetradesmus obliquus (Turpin) M. J. Wynne [NCBI Taxonomy].

This species is ubiquitous in freshwater environments. Mostly, cells are ovate and have pointy ends, but no spines are found in this species. Depending on the growth conditions, the cell morphology can vary. One can find single cells, coenobia of two cells, or coenobia made up of four or even eight cells.

S. obliquus is considered to be oleaginous, because the cells make oil bodies under environmental stress conditions, leading to the re-emergence of this species as a model in the context of algal biofuels. Strains of S. obliquus can be grown easily in the laboratory and several strains have been successfully cultivated in bioreactors and in outdoor ponds, thus leading to multiple potential feedstock strains for future biofuels applications.


Neofotis, P., Huang, A., Sury, K., Chang, W., Joseph, F., Gabr, A., Twary, S., Qiu, W., Holguin, O., Polle, J.E.W. (2016) Characterization and classification of highly productive microalgae strains discovered for biofuel and bioproduct generation. Algal Research, 15, pp. 164-178. doi: 10.1016/j.algal.2016.01.007