The silicified cell wall of a diatom, consisting of two valves or overlapping halves.
- Observe the diatom frustule below at right, in which the two halves have been pushed slightly askew.
- Bacteria accelerate silica dissolution in the sea by colonizing and enzymatically degrading the organic matrix of diatom frustules.
- Like its brethren, it is encased by a frustule, a rigid cell wall delicately marked with pores in patterns distinctive enough for scientists to tell the species apart.
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