Diatoms - why do they shrink?

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Stephen Tashi

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This page indicates that mature diatoms begin to shrink as they age due to "vegetative cell division". http://www.sciencebythesea.org/SciencebytheSea.org/TAS-2014_Log/Entries/2014/7/10_Can_Diatoms_Iron-Out_Their_Differences_2.html What kind of cell division is "vegetative cell division"?
 
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Although "vegetative division" can have different meanings in difference contexts, in your link it seems to mean just mitotic (normal cell division) as distinct from meiotic divisions, which reduce the number of chromosomes by half to make germ cells.
From the link, it seems the cells just get smaller because they are dividing rapidly instead of growing 2x in size before dividing again.
Animal embryos often do this after fertilization (in the blastula stage) to make many small cells from the large fertilized egg.
 
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From what I understand cells of animals divide with (till?) Specialisation of stem cells which are triggered by hormone receptors based on proximity.
 
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Amitiosis. It is an asymmetric cell division that occurs rarely in some unicellular and acellular organisms.

Not sure what is meant by "shrinking", but one cell is going to be smaller, so?
 

1. Why do diatoms shrink?

Diatoms shrink as a survival mechanism in response to unfavorable environmental conditions. This allows them to conserve energy and resources until conditions improve.

2. What environmental factors can cause diatoms to shrink?

Diatoms can shrink in response to changes in temperature, light, salinity, and nutrient availability. They can also shrink when exposed to pollutants or toxins.

3. Can diatoms shrink and grow multiple times?

Yes, diatoms can shrink and grow multiple times in their lifetime. They have the ability to switch between different sizes depending on their environment.

4. How does shrinking affect diatoms' role in the ecosystem?

Shrinking can affect diatoms' role in the ecosystem by altering their position in the food chain. When diatoms shrink, they may become less desirable prey for larger organisms, potentially disrupting the flow of energy in the ecosystem.

5. Is shrinking a permanent change for diatoms?

No, shrinking is not a permanent change for diatoms. As mentioned earlier, they have the ability to switch between different sizes and can grow back to their original size when conditions improve.

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