Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Pseudo-nitzschia Girdle

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Girdle Bands in Pseudo-nitzschia

The girdle bands of Pseudo-nitzschia are composed of the epicingulum and hypocingulum of the diatom. These bands are constructed of silica and lie between the two valves, effectively acting as a "belt" to join them together. By holding the valves together, the bands serve to enclose the cell and protect it (both the valves and girdle bands are composed of silica). Whereas the valves are rigid and do not allow growth within their plane, the girdle allows an increase in volume. By adding bands to the hypocingulum during growth, Pseudo-nitzschia expands unidirectionally in order to accommodate mitosis as well as the development of the daughter frustule.

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Figure: Valve and Girdle Bands



Girdle Bands



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copyright Jennifer Shin 1999.

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009