Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Diatoms

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_74

Synonyms

Bacillariophyta

Definition

Diatoms (Chromalveolates supergroup, photosynthetic Stramenopiles, Bacillariophyta) are unicellular or colonial eukaryotic algae with unique cell walls composed of amorphous silica and consisting of two parts.

The diatoms (Bacillariophyta) represent an extremely diverse and successful lineage of photosynthetic Stramenopiles (Chromalveolates) with cell walls composed of amorphous silica and consisting of two parts, termed frustules , as their most striking feature. The diatoms are of unicellular organization, but some form colonies. The diatom plastids are derived from red algal secondary symbiosis and are golden brown due to the high concentration of the carotenoid fucoxanthin. Diatoms are exceedingly abundant and thought to be the most important group of eukaryotic phytoplankton, responsible for approximately 40% of marine primary productivity (Falkowski et al., 1998). Their high abundance coupled with the resistance of diatom frustules to...

Keywords

Amorphous Silica Unique Cell Wall Centric Diatom Diatom Frustule Eukaryotic Alga 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geomicrobiology Group Center for Applied GeoscienceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.University of Göttingen, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant SciencesHelmholtz Centre for Infection ResearchBraunschweigGermany