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DIATOMS

Definition

Unicellular algae belonging to the class Bacillariophyceae (Diatomeae) comprising a group of about 6000 species with highly characteristic silica-skeletons (epitheca and hypotheca). Morphologically very diverse, they are ubiquitous phytoplanktonic organisms, contributing substantially to the primary productivity of the oceans. those belonging to the Pennales are mainly freshwater benthic species.

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