Wheel-shaped diatom, Arachnoidiscus

Wheel-shaped diatom, Arachnoidiscus

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Caption: Light micrograph of the wheel-shaped diatom Arachnoidiscus ehrenbergi. The diatoms are a distinctive group of single-celled algae containing about 10, 000 species. They form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine & freshwater food chains. The characteristic feature of diatoms is their intricately patterned, glass-like cell wall, or frustule. The frustule consists of 2 halves which fit together like the lid & bottom of a box. The frustule is often decorated with rows of tiny holes, known as striae, which are arranged radially (in centric diatoms) or on the 2 sides of a central axis (in pennate diatoms).

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Keywords: alga, algae, algal, arachnoidiscus ehrenbergi, botany, centric, circular, diatom, diatoms, green algae, light micrograph, nature, phytoplankton, plankton, plant, round, rounded

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