• auxospore;
  • Bacillariophyta;
  • morphogenesis;
  • raphid diatom;
  • sexual reproduction;
  • Surirella cf. fastuosa;
  • Surirellaceae

Surirella cf. fastuosa is an apparently isopolar elliptic marine raphid diatom. We observed cells before and after sexual reproduction in monoclonal cultures using light and scanning electron microscopy (LM and SEM). After sexual reproduction cells were approximately twice as large as before, in valve length and width. The stria and infundibula densities were stable during the life cycle. Subtle morphological differences were detectable between the two poles of the frustule. One pole (pole A) was characterized by endings of the external raphe fissure that turned toward the valve face, continuity of the domed wall of the raphe canal externally, an elliptic chamber visible internally, a shallow nick in the interior of the valvocopula. The other pole (pole B) was with the following: straight endings of the external raphe fissures, a dent in the domed wall of the raphe canal externally, a double chamber internally, presence of the open ends of the valvocopula nearby, a deep nick in the valvocopula. Furthermore, at pole A virgae developed at an early stage in morphogenesis, whereas at pole B they were not formed. In the auxospores, pole A was situated beneath the primary transverse perizonial band. Pole A is suggested to be homologous with the head pole in heteropolar Surirella and is the “protopole” likely equivalent to the central nodule in naviculoid taxa. Pole B is homologous with the foot pole in heteropolar Surirella and is the “synaptic pole” formed by fusion of components equivalent to both poles of naviculoid taxa.