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What are they?

• One celled organism


• Solitary or colonial
• Siliceous
• Planktic and Benthic
forms
• Over 60 000 species
• Can be found in
almost any moist
place
• Eukaryotic
Grovea pedalis
Environment

• Freshwater
-puddle
-ditch
-tree (moss)
-lagoon, river, etc
• Marine
-benthic and planktic
areas
Diatom Morphology

• Frustule (skeleton)
-hypotheca
-epitheca
-can have varying
shapes
• Punctae
• Raphe (groove)
• No flagella
Classification

• Phylum
Bacillariophyta
• Class Diatomatae
• Order Centrales
• Order Pennales

• Although some put it


in the phylum
Chrysophyta
Order Centrales

• Centric
• Dominate marine
environments
• Cret. To Rec.
• Radially symmetrical
-although they can
have varying shapes
Order Pennales

• Pennate (elongate)
• Dominate non-marine
environments
• Paleocene to Recent
• Bilaterally
symmetrical
-features perpendicular
to long axis
Reproduction

• Asexual
• Mitosis
• Alternation
between both
• Progressive
decrease in size
Reproduction

• Sexual
• Meiosis
• Gametes
released and
combined with
another
• Zygote
Importance

• Responsible for 20%-25%of all carbon


fixation (CO2 + H2O = sugars)
• Contribute to atmospheric oxygen
• Major component of plankton (source of
food for many organisms
• Age dating (many have short time ranges)
• Dynamite, abrasive, filter, etc.
• Grass of the Sea
Hazardous

• genus Pseudonitzschia
• Domoic acid
• binds to the glutamate
receptors in the brain
where it causes nerve cells
to transmit impulses
continuously until the cells
die
• eutrophication processes
occurring along our coasts
some algae (diatoms!)
blooms have caused mass
pollution and starvation.
References
• http://hjs.geol.uib.no/diatoms/Marbles/index.html-ssi

• http://www.microscopy.fsu.edu/primer/techniques/hoffm
angallery/diatom.html
• http://hjs.geol.uib.no/diatoms/
• http://www.visualsunlimited.com/browse/vu315/vu3156
07.html
• http://earth.leeds.ac.uk/electronoptics/set3/diatom_c.ht
m
• http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/chromista/diatoms/diato
mmm.html