Centric diatom. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a section through a centric diatom. Diatoms are single-celled photosynthetic algae, of which there are about 100,000 species. They have mineralised cell walls (frustules) that contain silica and provide protection and support. The diatoms form an important part of the plankton at the base of the marine and freshwater food chains. A centric diatom is one that displays radial symmetry.
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