, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 305-323

Periodicity in cell division and physiological behavior of ditylum brightwellii, a marine planktonic diatom, during growth in light-dark cycles

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Cells of Ditylum brightwellii, a large marine centric diatom, were partially synchronized by employing an appropriate light-dark cycle. At 20°C this consisted of 8 hrs of illumination at an intensity of 0.05 cal/cm2 min. A single 2.8 l culture was studied over a 20 day period by diluting the culture daily to a standard cell concentration. The sequence of events in cell development was as follows: daughter cells were formed late in the light period, in the dark they elongated and the numerous chromatophores began dividing. A minimum cell buoyancy was observed in the dark concurrent with cell elongation. Increase in cell phosphorus took place in the dark period. The photosynthetic rate of cells removed during the dark period decreased to a minimum. In the following light period photosynthetic rate increased to a maximum, photosynthetic pigments, cell carbon, nitrogen, and carbohydrate increased and cell division again took place. Cell silica content increased concomitant with cell division. Details of cell morphology during cell division, based upon light microscopy, are reported.