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 Beauty and diversity of the diatoms    


Diatoms are unicellular algae (many are around one twentieth of millimeter long). They possess plastids and the same cellular organelles as other eukaryotic photosynthetic algae.

The hallmark of a diatom is its cell wall named frustule. This wall, heavily impregnated with silica, is highly differentiated. It consists always of two large intrically sculptured units called valves, together with several linking structures termed girdle elements. Each species is characterized by a particular shape of the frustule and by the decoration of the valves. 

After removal of the organic matter, i.e. of the cell, and cleaning of the siliceous wall of the collected diatoms, coloured micrographs were taken. They allow to discover the beauty and the diversity of the diatoms :

Diatoms of the north-eastern atlantic ocean

Diatoms of the Mediterranean Sea 

Diatoms of the French Lesser Antilles

Plastids of the diatoms

" Jewel-diatoms"

The measurements of the frustules and valves are indicated in micrometers (microm.).

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