, Volume 100, Issue 3–4, pp 267–288

Wall morphogenesis in diatoms: Deposition of silica by cytoplasmic vesicles

  • Anna -Maria M. Schmid
  • D. Schulz


Several TEM and SEM techniques were applied to examine developing structures in valves of the centric diatomThalassiosira eccentrica (Ehrenb.) Cleve after cytokinesis. It was possible to confirm that in each stage of the silicification process there is a distinction between a “growing zone” with a loose assemblage of silica spheres and a “compacting zone” in an older phase of development. The spherical structure of the silica in the “growing zone” results from the addition of silica by small cytoplasmic vesicles of about 300 to 400 Å in diameter. The vesicle membrane fuses with the silicalemma and the vesicle content is released into the silica-deposition vesicle. The origin of these vesicles, named “STV”, is still unknown.


Diatom wall Diatoms Morphogenesis Silica deposition Silica spheres Thalassiosira eccentrica 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna -Maria M. Schmid
    • 1
  • D. Schulz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut der Universität SalzburgSalzburgAustria
  2. 2.Botanisches Institut der Tierärztlichen Hochschule HannoverDeutschland

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