Sticky Marine Diatoms

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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micro_pix
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:05 pm
Location: Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Sticky Marine Diatoms

Post by micro_pix »

Here are two species of marine diatoms that stick to each other to form chains and use the same "biological glue" to attach themselves to sand grains. They are reasonably large for diatoms, I was using a 10x objective. I've tried to capture the three dimensional shape of the first one in the last cross-eyed stereo image.

Dave
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Full Frame 10x Objective
2021-05-07-19.40.jpg
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Cropped
mdiaone.jpg
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Full Frame 10x objective
2021-05-07-19.50.jpg
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Cropped
Untitled-3dcdf.jpg
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Cross-eyed stereo of the first
marinedia23.jpg
Last edited by micro_pix on Sun May 09, 2021 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

Sumguy01
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Location: Ketchikan Alaska USA

Re: Sticky Marine Diatoms

Post by Sumguy01 »

=D> very nice.
Thanks for sharing.

rjlittlefield
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Re: Sticky Marine Diatoms

Post by rjlittlefield »

Beautiful and informative!

That stereo pair really lets me understand the shape.

--Rik

micro_pix
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:05 pm
Location: Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Re: Sticky Marine Diatoms

Post by micro_pix »

Thanks for the kind comments.

As well as forming the sticky pads, in the centre of the first photo you can see where the sticky mucilage (Extracellular Polymeric Substance) has been excreted more generally, trapping organic detritus. In the same sample of sand there were also tiny “mats” of silica grains bound by a similar mucilage but whatever deposited it had moved on. I did find an interesting paper (sponsored by the oil industry) that points to one of the geological impacts of these biofilms.

http://www.petrog.com/ws2-files/papers/ ... nglass.pdf

Dave

Here's one of the sand grain "mats", it's about 5mm across and 2 or 3 grains deep. The grains are hard to separate.
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2021-05-10-17.01.jpg

Oceansmicro
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 13, 2021 12:35 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Sticky Marine Diatoms

Post by Oceansmicro »

This is really excellent. Very informative. Thanks for posting.

RoxnDox
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:17 pm
Location: Somewhere near Seattle

Re: Sticky Marine Diatoms

Post by RoxnDox »

Beautiful little organisms, aren't they? The sand grains are also lovely little rocks, delightful to a geologist's eye!
I go by "Jim" in real life, "RoxnDox" on here...

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