Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 72, Issue 11, pp 1261–1269 | Cite as

Aberration of morphogenesis of siliceous frustule elements of the diatom Synedra acus in the presence of germanic acid

  • T. A. Safonova
  • V. V. Annenkov
  • E. P. Chebykin
  • E. N. Danilovtseva
  • Ye. V. LikhoshwayEmail author
  • M. A. Grachev


Addition of germanic acid into the culture medium of the diatom Synedra acus subsp. radians (Kutz.) Skabitsch. had nearly no influence on the culture growth at the Ge/Si molar ratio 0.01, but stopped it at ratios 0.05 and higher. It was shown by mass-spectrometry that at the Ge/Si ratio 0.01 germanium was incorporated in both the cytoplasm and siliceous valves, whereas at Ge/Si 0.05 it was incorporated into the cytoplasm but almost failed to accumulate in the valves. At Ge/Si 0.1 germanium was accumulated in the cytoplasm, but its incorporation into the valves terminated. Studies on the cell morphology by light, epifluorescence, and transmission electron microscopy showed that high concentrations of germanic acid induced disorders in morphogenesis of the siliceous frustule and accumulation of large rhodamine-stainable electron-dense inclusions. Model chemical experiments with over-saturated solutions of silicic acid in the presence of polyallylamine revealed that addition of 5% germanic acid considerably accelerated coagulation of silica. Hence, the toxic effect of germanic acid on diatoms could be caused by changes in coagulation of silica.

Key words

diatoms silica germanium polyallylamine morphogenesis epifluorescence and transmission electron microscopy 





silica deposition vesicles


silicon transporter


transmission electron microscopy


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. A. Safonova
    • 1
  • V. V. Annenkov
    • 1
  • E. P. Chebykin
    • 1
  • E. N. Danilovtseva
    • 1
  • Ye. V. Likhoshway
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. A. Grachev
    • 1
  1. 1.Limnological InstituteSiberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesIrkutskRussia

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