Diatom frustules

Diatom frustules

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This image is part of the feature The Algae


Caption: Light micrograph of diatoms, a group of single- celled algae, a simple plant, that form a large part of the plankton in fresh and salt waters. A feature of diatoms is there glass-like cell wall, or frustule (visible here). The frustule consists of two halves, the valves, which fit together like the two parts of a pill box. On division, each valve produces a new half inside itself. The larger half, the 'lid' of the box, generates a cell which is the same size as the original, but the bottom produces a smaller cell. After repeated divisions of the small cell, sexual auxospores are produced to restore the maximum cell size. Magnification: x400 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: alga, algae, algal, botany, diatom, diatoms, frustule, nature, phytoplankton, plankton, plant, single cell, single-celled alage

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