National Research Council of Italy

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IBBR publication #1851

Diatom Frustule Morphogenesis and Function: a Multidisciplinary Survey

De Tommasi E, Gielis J, Rogato A

Marine Genomics 35: 1-18. (2017)
doi: 10.1016/j.margen.2017.07.001

Diatoms represent the major component of phytoplankton and are responsible for about 20-25% of global primary production. Hundreds of millions of years of evolution led to tens of thousands of species differing in dimensions and morphologies. In particular, diatom porous silica cell walls, the frustules, are characterized by an extraordinary, species-specific diversity. It is of great interest, among the marine biologists and geneticists community, to shed light on the origin and evolutionary advantage of this variability of dimensions, geometries and pore distributions. In the present article the main reported data related to frustule morphogenesis and functionalities with contributions from fundamental biology, genetics, mathematics, geometry and physics are reviewed.

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