Sunday, February 10, 2013

Diatoms vs Dinoflagellates and Marine Plankton Benefits

Two types of marine plankton include diatoms and dinoflagellates.

Diatoms are eukaryotic single-celled algae that are divided into two major groups based on the structure and shape of the valves, the Centrics and the Pennates. Diatoms are most like plants in their ability to meet their nutritional needs through photosynthesis. The presence of chlorophyll and accessory pigments give them a golden color and serves to harvest light energy from the sun. The cells are encased in a transparent glass-like container called a frustule that resembles a petri-dish.The cells may form chains or colonies and up to 100,000 species of diatoms have been recorded world-wide.

The diatom Coscinodiscus wailesii. The two ‘valves’ of the cell can be seen in the top left image. Image taken by M. Hoppenrath, provided courtesy of Plankton*Net (image # 12641) . Diatoms



Like diatoms, dinoflagellates are also eukaryotic single-celled algae, and nearly half of the known species are capable of photosynthesis and contain autotrophs (light-harvesting pigments). However, that's where the similarities end. Many dinoflagellates have two flagella which allow the cells to have limited mobility and the cells are covered by theca (sheath) that can be smooth of ornamented. Also, some of the species are able to migrate vertically through the water column, seeking nutrients, prey, or protection from harmful UV rays. Of the 2000 known species of dinoflagellates, about 60 are able to produce complex toxins. Also, when conditions are favorable towards dinoflagellates, a bloom may occur, sometimes resulting in contamination of fish and shellfish, posing a threat to human and animal life.

 dinoflagellate Dinoflagellate

 Marine plankton have many benefits for not only the ocean, but for man as well.

Firstly, marine plankton is incredibly beneficial towards man. Some of the benefits of using Marine Phytoplankton when used as a daily superfood supplement include enhanced brain function, improved immune function, antiviral/anti-fungal/antibacterial effects, improved cellular repair, antioxidant support, improved circulation and heart function, radiation protection, detoxification support, allergy and asthma relief, anti-inflammatory, and suppression of symptoms stemming from degenerative disease. This unique super-nutrient from the ocean provides the body with instant usable energy.

Secondly, Marine Plankton are found in oceans throughout the world and are responsible for much of the atmosphere’s oxygen and is the basis of life, providing food for others above it in the food chain.


Lastly, Marine phytoplankton can also help relieve depression because it contains many vital trace minerals that are essential to the production of brain neuroChemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. People who have struggled with chronic depression often report an alleviation of their condition after taking this supplement.

 - Victoria Mehlhaff -

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