Caption: Fresh water pennate diatom frustule (Navicula sp.). Diatoms represent about 25% of the plant biomass in the world. Found both in fresh water and salt water these microscopic unicellular plants are important biomass and oxygen producers. Through their photosynthesis, greenhouse gasses are converted to organic material and they therefore play a decisive role in the global carbon dioxide circulation. When individual cells die they remain as siliceous (silica dioxide) cell walls and sink to the bottom of the lake or ocean. Research has shown that the walls of fossil diatoms can give valuable information about past environment and climate conditions and serve as indicators for historical dating of sediments. Industries use the diatom silica walls in the form of diatomaceous earth for polishing material and for filtering wine and beer. In the field of nanotechnology the motility of such tiny cells and the silica cell wall design has been used as a pattern for car wheels. Omega-3 fatty acids of the diatoms have been found to benefit the nervous system.
Magnification*: x800
Type: SEM
Copyright 2008 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Keywords: 28933B,12.01.08,alga,algae,aquatic,diatom,eukaryote,frustule,phytoplankton,plankton,silica,skeleton,Navicula,SEM,aquatic biomass,plant biomass,photosynthesis,silica frustule,silica cell wall,frustules,oxygen producer,biomass,global carbon dioxide circulation,carbon dioxide circulation,greenhouse gas,greenhouse gasses,Heterokontophyta,photosynthetic alga,photosynthetic algae,silicious cell wall,glass cell wall,silica dioxide,fossil diatom,fossil diatoms,climate change,climate changes,biological indicator,biological indicators,biology indicator,biology indicators,nanotechnology,diatomaceous earth,polishing,filtering,omega-3 fatty acid,omega-3 fatty acids,diatom locomotion,diatom movement,environmental indicator,carbon dioxide build up,greenhouse effect,pennate fresh water diatom,pennate fresh water diatoms,fresh water diatoms,freshwater diatom,freshwater diatoms,organic biomass,organic material,pennate,bacillariophyceae,bacillarophyta,pennate diatom