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Oscillatoria A genus of filamentous cyanobacteria (section III), in which the filaments are composed of disc-shaped cells and may reach lengths of more than 1 cm. They are capable of gliding motility. Sheaths are often not apparent, and heterocysts and akinetes are not formed. Oscillatoria species are common in all types of aquatic environment, often forming dark green mats on wet rocks, etc. O. limnetica can grow in the absence of oxygen, carrying out anoxygenic photosynthesis, using hydrogen sulphide instead of water as the electron donor.