Name of microbe: Pennate Diatom

Where sample was found: Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site, April 18, 2017, surface water

Project: BATS

Photo credit: Rachel Parsons, BIOS

What role does the microbe play in the ecosystem: Diatoms are a major group of algae. They are especially important in oceans, where they contribute an estimated 45% of the total oceanic primary production of organic material.

Interesting facts: A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are enclosed within a cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule.