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The main characteristics of Bacillariophyceae are:

  1. The algae of this family are commonly known as Diatoms.
  2. The members are mostly unicellular or colonial algae.
  3. Both the marine as well as fresh water forms are there.
  4. The cell is golden brown in colour; the pigments are chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, Xanthophyll.
  5. The cells are attached each other by mucillage envelope.
  6. The reserve food material is present as oil and chrysolaminarin.
  7. The members of the family produce unique types of spores called auxopsores.
  8. Auxospore formation helps in restoring the average size of the species.
  9. This auxospores formation helps in the rejuvenation process.
  10. A rigid overlapping cell wall is present which is known as frustule.
  11. The shell or frustule is composed of two halves; larger epitheca and smaller hypotheca.
  12. Large depositions of fossil diatoms are known as diatomaceous earth.
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