The silicified cell walls of diatoms have inspired the interest of researchers for several centuries, and our understanding of their properties and formation has developed in synch with the development of observational and analytical techniques. Over the past 20 years, approaches used to characterize the molecular components involved in cell wall silicification have evolved, and this has provided significant insights into fundamental aspects of silicification, and promises to continue to do so.“
Source : Understanding Diatom Cell Wall Silicification—Moving Forward Frontiers in Marine Science journal
In the last decade great progress has been made in understanding the conserved molecular mechanisms involved in silicic acid polymerization. Silica structure formation takes place inside a membrane-bound compartment, the Silica Deposition Vesicle (SDV)“
Source : Scientific Reports, Nature, 2017
The 'shells' are made made from silica extracted from seawater in the diatoms' Silica Deposition Vesicles (SDV). But the exact mechanism of transferring silica absorbed by the diatom to the cell wall is unknown. The science behind the extraordinary, highly uniform and often symmetrical deposition shapes - and their variations across species - is still a mystery.
Further reading at Wikipedia
Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.
If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !
Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.
( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)
You are currently viewing an auto-translated version of Wikenigma
Please be aware that no automatic translation engines are 100% accurate, and so the auto-translated content will very probably feature errors and omissions.
Nevertheless, Wikenigma hopes that the translated content will help to attract a wider global audience.