Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
n. pl. cy·a·no·bac·te·ri·a (-tîr′ē-ə)
Any of various photosynthetic bacteria of the phylum Cyanobacteria that are generally blue-green in color and are widespread in marine and freshwater environments, with some species capable of nitrogen fixation. Also called blue-green alga, blue-green bacterium.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A type of bacterium that is capable of photosynthesis and was once thought to be a plant. Many cyanobacteria are able to convert nitrogen into chemical compounds used in cell metabolism. A combination of pigments, including chlorophyll, gives these bacteria their characteristic blue-green color. Also called blue-green alga.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.