The life of diatoms in the world's oceans

Nature. 2009 May 14;459(7244):185-92. doi: 10.1038/nature08057.


Marine diatoms rose to prominence about 100 million years ago and today generate most of the organic matter that serves as food for life in the sea. They exist in a dilute world where compounds essential for growth are recycled and shared, and they greatly influence global climate, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and marine ecosystem function. How these essential organisms will respond to the rapidly changing conditions in today's oceans is critical for the health of the environment and is being uncovered by studies of their genomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Diatoms / chemistry
  • Diatoms / classification
  • Diatoms / genetics
  • Diatoms / metabolism*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Food Chain
  • Glass
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Marine Biology*


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Iron