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Aberrant valve formation in a centric diatom,Ditylum brightwellii


Interphase cells of the centric diatom,Ditylum brightwellii (West) Grunow, were treated with a microtubule-inhibitor (amiprophosmethyl, 6×10−7 M); the cells could proceed to divide, but the spindle apparatus in about 25% of the cells was displaced and their two sibling cells has either two nuclei or none. The cells with two nuclei formed a new valve with two labiate processes, instead of one as in normal cells. Most of the cells lacking a nucleus were unable to form a new valve, and of the 2% that did form new valves, all did so without dividing. The valves with two labiate processes were originally formed in two separate silica deposition vesicles (SDVs) and the two embryonic siliceous valves fused when these two expanding SDVs met. Accordingly, both the pattern of perforations and the shape of the marginal ridges on the new valve vary with the distance between the two initiation sites of the two SDVs. Implications of these observations in the evolution of valves in diatoms are discussed and a hypothesis on multiple origins of the valves is proposed.

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Li, C.W., Volcani, B.E. Aberrant valve formation in a centric diatom,Ditylum brightwellii . Protoplasma 145, 1–6 (1988).

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