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Revealing the molecular secrets of marine diatoms.

TitleRevealing the molecular secrets of marine diatoms.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsFalciatore, A, Bowler, C
JournalAnnu Rev Plant Biol
Date Published2002
KeywordsDiatoms, Marine Biology, Microscopy, Electron

Diatoms are unicellular photosynthetic eukaryotes that contribute close to one quarter of global primary productivity. In spite of their ecological success in the world's oceans, very little information is available at the molecular level about their biology. Their most well-known characteristic is the ability to generate a highly ornamented silica cell wall, which made them very popular study organisms for microscopists in the last century. Recent advances, such as the development of a range of molecular tools, are now allowing the dissection of diatom biology, e.g., for understanding the molecular and cellular basis of bioinorganic pattern formation of their cell walls and for elucidating key aspects of diatom ecophysiology. Making diatoms accessible to genomics technologies will potentiate greatly these efforts and may lead to the use of diatoms to construct submicrometer-scale silica structures for the nanotechnology industry.

Alternate JournalAnnu Rev Plant Biol
PubMed ID12221969

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