LM of the rod-shaped diatom, Cymbella sp.

LM of the rod-shaped diatom, Cymbella sp.

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Caption: Cymbella. Light micrograph of the rod-shaped (pennate) diatom Cymbella sp. Its cell wall is intricately sculpted with pores and longitudinal grooves. Diatoms are single-celled algae that exist in huge numbers in marine and freshwater environments. They account for a large proportion of the microscopic plankton that forms the basis of marine food chains. Their ornate, silica-rich cell walls consist of two overlapping valves called frustules, which clip together like the lid and body of a pillbox. These persist long after diatoms die, forming sedimentary deposits of chalk. Magnification: x85 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: alga, algae, algal, botany, cymbella, cymbella sp., diatom, diatoms, light micrograph, nature, pennate, pennate diatom, phytoplankton, plankton, plant, shape, type

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