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Image of Ditylum by Brian Bill, NOAA Image of Ditylum by Brian Bill, NOAA
Left image: Ditylum chain; Right image: Ditylum resting spore
Photo credit: Brian Bill, NOAA

Phytoplankton of the month — June 2015

Ditylum brightwellii

Ditylum brightwellii are diatoms, 80-130µm long. These cells can be found individually or in chains. Depending on how you view them, they are rectangular in girdle view and triangular in valve view. In both views, you will be able to see the ridges on the outskirts of the cell. Ditylum has many small, evenly distributed, speckled chloroplasts. These organisms can create resting spores that are easy to spot. The cell is clear except for the spore found within each singular cell.

Ditylum are found everywhere except in polar waters.

For more information on Ditylum see
A Taxonomic Guide to Some Common Marine Phytoplankton, by Rita Horner (Biopress Ltd. 2002)

SoundToxins, a diverse partnership of Washington state shellfish and finfish growers, environmental learning centers, Native American tribes, and Puget Sound volunteers, is a monitoring program designed to provide early warning of harmful algal bloom events in order to minimize both human health risks and economic losses to Puget Sound fisheries.

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