The Botanical Review

, Volume 1, Issue 5, pp 149–161 | Cite as

Reproduction and life history in diatoms

  • Lothar Geitler


The Pennales are diplonts and possess sexual, parthenogenetic or apogamous auxospore formation. Fusion is either isogamous or physiologically anisogamous.

Sexual reproduction among the Centrales, with the exception ofMelosira, is not fully understood. It is probable, however, that the Centrales are also diplonts. Contradicting claims of various authors can be explained through the assumption that the microspores are spermatozoids which fertilize the undivided contents of female cells (egg cells) and that the resulting zygotes develop into auxospores. Conclusive proof of this claim is lacking for neither do cytological investigations of reduction divisions which occur during microspore formation suffice in the matter, nor has fusion of the gametes been observed. InMelosira, which has no microspores, reduction division takes place in the mother cells before auxospore formation; two of the four nuclei fuse and the zygote develops into an auxospore.

The problems concerning sexual reproduction and alternation of nuclear phases among Centrales still remain unsolved except forMelosira. The Pennales, on the other hand, are definitely diploid.


Botanical Review Sexual Reproduction Mother Cell Nuclear Division Daughter Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1935

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lothar Geitler
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut der Universität WienAustria

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