Fine structure of an unusual cytoplasmic inclusion in the diatom genus,Rhopalodia
Ellipsoidal to ovoid inclusions in the diatomsRhopalodia gibba andR. gibberula were examined in the electron microscope.
The inclusions are 4 to 6 microns wide, 5 to 7 microns long and separated from the diatom cytoplasm by a five-layered wall.
Lamellae about 16 mμ wide and 25 mμ apart occur near the periphery, with oil droplets and aggregations of 18 to 22 mμ particles occurring between them.
They are neither pyrenoids nor oil bodies.
They may be unique cell organelles whose function is unknown or possibly modified coccoid blue-green algae.
The cytoplasm of the two species ofRhopalodia resembles that of other diatoms.
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